‘Minari’ Showcases Today’s South Korean Fashion


Ms. Choi credited a Korean television series called “Reply,” about a group of friends in the ’80s and ’90s. The three-part drama, one of the most successful shows from 2012 to 2016, is attributed with bringing back clothing from the era — mom jeans, classic American-brand sneakers, oversize sweatshirts.

It influenced Ms. Song, who was not actively following the newtro trend during her preparations for “Minari.” “I am really excited to hear that Koreans are also adapting to this style,” she said.

Louis Park, 48, a former stylist who runs a vintage-style cafe in Seoul, said he wondered if Jacob, a character in the film played by Steven Yeun, was too stylish. “I looked at Steven Yeun’s character and thought, ‘This is a man who’d just be considered a fashionista today,’” he said.

Myoung Jung-woo, 37, who opened a vintage shop called Bubu1206 in 2017, said her closet consists of items from the ’70s to the ’90s. She said that newtro is about understanding your parents’ generation and has found that many young women come into her shop looking for dresses that resemble what their mothers wore at their age. “Not only is it a fun way to find your own style, it also helps you bond with your elders,” she said.

Lee Jin-soo, a GQ Korea editor, said her love of Hollywood movies like “E.T.” and “The Cure” resulted in her fondness for vintage American T-shirts. “Much of what’s considered trendy, in terms of newtro fashion, comes from the United States,” she said.

Mr. Park, who has followed Korea’s vintage scene since he was a teenager, said that Korea does not have the culture of passing down household items to future generations. “If you go to a vintage store in Korea, there aren’t that many Korean brands,” he said. “For most of our history, we never saw clothes, particularly old Korean clothes, as having value — we just saw them as used. I hope this new trend means some of that can slowly change.”



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