Black Pink, a famous Korean pop star group recently paved the way for Hanboks. Their recent YouTube video, How You Like That, consisted of the members wearing modern hanboks which caused a surge of awareness of the traditional Korean clothing known as hanbok.
This song was aired on NBC’s Jimmy Fallon Show which garnered millions of eyes and consequently on the fashionable hanbok worn by Black Pink members and has resulted in a surge of traffic and demand of all types of hanbok from American consumers.
Hanbok stores headquartered in Korea such as Danha and Leesle, and those headquartered in America such as Joteta
saw a tremendous surge of sales in 2020 alone.
Traditional hanboks were made for comfort and maximum range in motion because most could only afford one set in the past. This fit has transferred to our present day and hanbok manufacturers and creators make hanboks with maximum range of motion and comfort in mind. With availability of all types of garment, there’s an abundance of unique traditional and modern hanboks available just a search away.
Before Black Pink has initiated to create awareness of Korean hanboks, BTS also took part in sharing Korean culture in 2018 where they wore hanboks in their music video, Idol. BTS to this day spreads the importance of Korean culture by wearing modern hanboks when they go out to public places such as an airport
. Korean celebrities sharing Korean culture by wearing modern hanbok has caused a surge of interest in hanboks and has resulted in google searches related to “what is hanbok” to increase by more than 1000%+ in the past few years.
We spoke with the founders of Joteta and asked them a few questions why people should wear hanboks:
Interviewer: Hanboks are traditional clothes. So, what makes modern hanboks modern?
Joteta: Traditional hanboks look traditional. Modern hanboks don’t, and actually look casual. What makes modern hanboks modern is their versatility with modern clothes such as jeans (the modern aspect) and their extreme comfort, unique embroidered patterns, materials used, and the way they’re made(hanbok).
Interviewer: We saw Black Pink’s Hanbok Hanboks and they look extremely colorful and unique. They look difficult to completely manufacture with machines. What does the creation process look like?
Joteta: Most hanboks are 100% handmade. This is also the reason why hanboks are limited in quantity, most of the time, you’ll hardly ever run into another person who will wear the same exact hanbok as you.
Interviewer: Why did you start Joteta?
Joteta: We prioritize baby hanboks and we started this to give parents the opportunity to share a Korean tradition with their baby and provide an opportunity to celebrate their baby's first 100 days and first birthday with the least amount of stress.
It’s stressful when you need certain items for your products and can’t find a reliable supplier, can’t find a supplier who can provide the items to you within your timeframe, and can’t communicate properly due to a big communication barrier.
We strive to get our hanboks to our consumer’s hand within 1-2 weeks (a lifesaver for those who plan late) and although our pricing cost is much higher than our competitors, we’re happy to cut into our profit to help customers who urgently need their hanboks.
Also, we believe that we’re increasing the number of Doljanchi (First Korean Birthday Celebration) that’s hosted across America because we’re increasing the convenience of planning for it and as a result, we’re indirectly increasing the awareness of Korean culture in America. Our logic is if more people are hosting Doljanchi, it will increase in the exposure of Doljanchi to family and friends.
It’s possible that Korean-Americans who have attended a prior Doljanchi and have overlooked throwing this kind of celebration for their baby may change after attending. It’s also possible that Korean-Americans who are indifferent to sharing korean culture with their baby may change after they see their friends and/or relatives do it.