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VL Dialogue with Jean CJ Lee, Founder of Vacant Label.

Posted on August 26 2019

Article by: Jean CJ Lee



Trying to purchase a product from any Korean e-commerce website is a challenge when you live outside of Korea. As one begins to navigate online platforms, the difficulties begin to accumulate: the language barrier, the payment system, identification verification, the lack of a local Korean bank card. Even Korean nationals living abroad find it frustrating. 


This is a pity as Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world, boasting an active e-commerce market and efficient delivery systems. Little more has to be said about the creativity bristling within the country. 


Hallyu, or the Korean wave, has had a profound impact in music and beauty. K-Pop and K-beauty have become instantly recognizable all over the world, and we believe the third wave of Korean culture to come will be in K-fashion. Korea has an immense pool of fashion design talents, designer brands that have incredible potential. Their ability to gain recognition will only be aided by the massive popularity of Korean music artists such as BTS or Europe-based DJ Peggy Gou. 


This up and coming group of young Korean designers has been trained in globally reputable fashion and design institutes beyond Korean establishments, attending such schools as Central Saint Martins.  Equipped with their international exposure, the creativity and workmanship of their designs can compete amongst the most established international fashion brands in the world. 


Vacant Label recognizes this pool of talented designers and aspires to create a space for them to showcase their talents. We partner with these brands to help them reach out to a global audience, particularly to Western markets where they remain unrepresented. In this regard, we hope to push these designers outside of their comfort zones and help them in the areas where they need the most assistance. 


Vacant Label recognizes that within the niche menswear market, there is a lack of affordable, good quality, and design-focused menswear brands. We hope to fill this gap, targeting a fashion forward and fashion-conscious audience, helping them to find brands by our Korean designers that best reflect their unique personalities. 


Beyond being an e-commerce platform for Korean designer brands, Vacant Label also represents a small group of designers globally for potential opportunities.  Our current designer portfolio includes YoungOh, The Stolen Garment, Esopie, Ki Lee and Birdche.


As the founder of Vacant Label, I truly believe that this new movement of young Korean menswear designer brands can succeed internationally, bringing the entire industry into a new era of energy and creativity. 

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