MCM is a major brand of leather goods here in Seoul, it is hard to go a few minutes without seeing someone walk by with something on sporting the logo pattern all over it. MCM (which stands for Mode Creation Munich) is originally a German-based leather goods company that was founded in 1976 and was met with considerable popularity for its flashy looks in the 1980s. Sadly by the mid 1990’s the label was pretty much dead since it clashed with the simple subtle style during that time.
2NE1 in custom MCM jackets
In 2005 the brand was purchased by Sung Joo Kim, a South Korean businesswoman who earned her fortune by licensing European luxury lines in Asia. She proceeded to give the brand the breath of life it required and relaunched in Korea hoping to capture the market here who is always hungry for high-end imported brands.
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MCM’s is a “masstige” brand ~ meaning it is a luxury line targeted to the general public! While the price range is expensive for some, it is still very affordable and within reach for most working Women and Men here. This makes it a very desirable brand for the general population, which has lead to booming sales over the last few years.
MCM has spent tons of money on heavy promotion with fancy parties, launches, sponsorship, and makes sure that as many Korean celebrities as possible here are sporting something of the brand (often custom-made) or at the events. While the brand overall has been very popular with women (usually college age /young adults), over the last 2 years or so it has really seemed to boom as a fashion forward brand.
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Currently MCM is enjoying its rekindled success and popularity with the famous and fashion savvy vs the office girl masses just looking for a nice basic handbag~
Lately the lines have sported lots of fun bold colors, patterns, and plenty of metal studding and hardware which is extremely popular this year in Seoul.
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Internationally MCM bags and other products are available in several countries through select retailers (Bloomingdales, Saks, etc) but its main success is in Asia. In the USA the brand is sported by a few celebrities, but is still really under the radar for many shoppers. The main draw for buyers outside Korea seems to be mainly because Korean celebrities are often spotted with this brand on… most foreigners coming here as tourists can often be spotted with a flashy MCM bag on and I am pretty sure it is because of its association with all the stars here.
MCM backpacks, especially the STARK line are very popular this year in Korea.
Currently MCM has one item that has been a fairly large hit here ~ I personally love it and I am spotting more and more young people in Seoul as well as international fans of Korea with this item so I feel is worth spotlighting~ the MCM STARK leather backpack! It is very striking!!
The price of the bag varies, but rages around 535,000- 800,000 won depending on the details and size.
It feels like almost every K-pop star here has at least one of these colorful backpacks with the awesome studs on the back! If you fire up Naver and do a search you can find tons of them, especially casual airport photos which I like because it means these are actually useful and not just for flashy show hehe.
Apparently this creamy nude Stark backpack is one of the most popular items being sold by MCM right now.
STARK backpacks by MCM come in 3 sizes currently, Large, Medium, and Mini!
I find the most common size is the Large, which is exactly like a normal backpack size. Sometimes you see girls using the medium, but the mini is extremely small! These bags come in a range of colors depending on the time of year and collection, some colors do seem to come and go or have special editions.
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One pop star (I think it is one of the girls from 2NE1) has a bubblegum pink version of the Stark bag that looks so cute, but apparently it was custom made argh!!! NEED PINK ONE PLEASE!
Cute couple sporting MCM Stark backpacks at Everland in Large and Medium ♥
On the street these two colors are the ones I see the most with both guys and girls~ the tan and the red. The tan looks really cute and traditional, but the red is a very pretty shade!
I don’t know why, but I think these bags look REALLY hot on guys!
Japanese seem to be very fond of the unique colored MCM bags medium size, especially Japanese girls that are into K-pop or Korean style fashion! Here are a few casual girls I spotted during a visit to Osaka last fall
Where to buy MCM bags
If you are in Korea you can find MCM at almost every Lotte , Hyundai, or Shinsegae department store, usually in its own dedicated area. These are predominantly in Seoul, Pusan, and Jeju Island. If you are on vacation and coming through the Incheon International Airport they have a very large MCM store in the duty free area as well!
MCM has a really nice flagship store in Seoul that has the best selection and is where Koreas main MCM launch, VIP, and promotional events are held.
MCM HAUS 78-12 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
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If you live outside Korea do not worry, it seem that every country has at least one location that sells MCM bags! You can check the store locator in English HERE to find the place nearest you! It seems like London, NY, and Germany also have flagship stores ♥
And for the curious~ here are my top MCM picks right now! I would love to add these to my collection, the more studs they use the better~ don’t you think? The extra stud-tastic purple MCM Stark backpack in large will set you back 755,000 won, The pastel blue clutch is from the 2013 spring titled “Sunshine Nomad” price TBA, and the cute black clutch is “honshu tantris” and runs about 450,000 won. Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas, lol.
Do you like the brand MCM? Do you own anything from them or have a wish item you would love to have? What to you think about the popular STARK MCM backpacks here in Korea, would you wear them too? Spotted MCM on a show or your favorite K-pop star? Share below!!