Only a few years ago, Hanbok, our traditional clothes, was the garment that was worn by people only during the national holidays. However, the youth wearing modernized Hanbok in their daily life are increasing these days. Not only the modernized ones but also the traditional type of Hanbok is worn a lot in Korean historical places. In those places, people put on Hanbok and take memorable pictures or video clips, uploading them on their social media. In this way, Hanbok is gradually becoming popularized in Korea. Hanbok is a daily and cultural attire in the modern day Korea.
There are several reasons why Hanbok fever gripped the youth recently. First of all, the accessibility to Hanbok has improved. Modernized Hanbok specialty store has increased and the price of modernized Hanbok is much cheaper than that of the traditional ones. In addition, people can easily borrow hanbok near the Korean historical places in cheap price. The number of Hanbok rental shop near Gyeongbokgung has been increased and the number approaches almost eighty these days. Secondly, a lot of Instagram and facebook pages are encouraging the youth to travel somewhere, wearing Hanbok. The youth are sensitive about the trend and they are eager to the trip meaningful, so it became popular. Moreover, hanbok experience is encouraged in the national level as well. Many cities including Seoul and Jeonju give people opportunities to have the Hanbok experience, offering benefits like free admission to Korean palaces or museums for those who are wearing Hanbok.
Korean youth are the core of this phenomenon in that Hanbok fever is mostly led by young people. Hanbok became modernized and popularized by new young designers who learned both traditional clothes and modern fashion. They broke the stereotype that Hanbok is complicated and should be worn only on holidays, which made it possible for people to wear Hanbok conveniently. The main consumers of Hanbok are the youth as well. The Korean youth are contributing not only to the Hanbok fashion industry but also to activating commercial power related to analog emotion. Even the places which are the main background of the youth’s Hanbok picture, like Ikseon-dong or Seochon village that still cherishes Korean style old and analog mood, became flourished these days as a by-product of their Hanbok fever.
However, some people say that there are still many issues that have to be considered. They say that Hanbok fever seems like a short-termed or one-time event in social media, not a real generalization or popularization. In addition, some online stores sell modernized Hanbok at cheap price with terrible quality. Those items are criticized as being modernized Hanbok in name only, since they do not display our traditional style and grace. In this regard, Choi Jeong-cheol, the leader of Hanbok advancement center, said that "Some are concerned about this problem, but I think this generation is drawing a revival of Hanbok industry. Moreover, an extension of distribution and sales routes of Hanbok are opening the way to the public wearing hanbok as a fashion. We need a lot of attention and support so that Hanbok can be along with our today and tomorrow, not just staying in tradition."
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