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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Product Review: Genuine Korean Fashion - the real thing!

One of the first things I ever learnt in journalism classes is to make sure my readers know why they should read what I've written. In this case, I'll tell you the reasons right now because the information in this article could give you the freedom of choice unlike ever before :D


A popular South Korean boutique boasts high-quality fashion in the latest trends

Why Read This Post?
First - have you ever seen pre-order fashion catalogues in your online shopping adventures? Have you seen those pretty, pretty pictures and then think, "Wow, it looks amazing - I can't wait to get this!" ... only to be slightly disappointed by the fact that even if it looks the same as the product in the picture, you know it isn't? The quality, the workmanship, the durability is different - and you think to yourself, "Darn, I wish I could get the exact one in the picture!"

Well, now you can. :D The fact is that, while the pre-order fashion catalogue items in blogshops sell the products at very affordable prices (usually ranging from RM20 to RM60), the products are manufactured by people different from the ones who made the items in those pictures. I'm not saying it's a bad thing - these mass-produced China imports are a lot cheaper than the genuine South Korean or Taiwanese products you see in the pictures.

South Korea: in my personal opinion, it's the mecca of quality-assured shopping in Asia

But what if you want the real thing?
Allow me to introduce you to Korean Fashion Station! It is part of the latest breed of Malaysian blogshops - the "middle-person" or "agent" type that helps you buy from an impressive partner-list of popular and well-known Korean stores (which have websites for your virtual shopping needs). Of course, the prices are higher than our usual blogshop-sphere market prices, but the products are truly unique and quality is guaranteed. Basically, they are genuine Korean products - made in Korea - some of which have been designed by the stores themselves.

Many Korean clothes, bags and shoes are also handmade and not factory-line bobbins, which makes your shopping extra-special! ;) Just think about it this way - Korean fashion items are so in-demand and popular that they are always being imitated by manufacturers from other countries (especially China), which is why you'll see the same pictures used - but the products are different. If you're a seasoned online shopper, you'll definitely have seen names of Korean stores like "Style Nanda" or "Naning9" on pictures used in the usual pre-order blogshops. :D
What's the big deal about Korean products?
For one thing, Korea is a highly fashion-conscious nation - the vast majority of the girls and women there are style-savvy - and the fashion in Korea reflects it. But just offering their latest trends and style ideas is not the (only) reason why it's so worth it to splurge a little at Korean Fashion Station - the quality is really, really good. Whatever you see in the photos, those are the actual products you will receive. All you need to do is try them ONCE - and you'll know what I mean. :) You won't regret it!



And I love the amount of choices available! :) Every style, for every personality - and every product, from dresses to blouses to menswear to bikinis and lingerie to all types of bottoms to corporate attire to shoes and bags and accessories ... and in my trip to Korea last week (thus I have these photos to share with you :D), I've checked the stores - they carry the same items as the ones you'll see in Korean Fashion Station's partner webstores. :D The exact same things. And you don't need to go to Korea to buy them! :) Also, it's the same price range whether in Korean shopping centres or the Korean webstores you shop from via Korean Fashion Station. You just need to fork out the extra for shipping and agent fees - and you don't need me to tell you it's sooo much cheaper than airfare. :P

I've never seen so many shoes in so many gorgeous designs! The designs are constantly updated too!

Are you for real? Is it really authenticity assured?
Yup! :D I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true, which is why it was important for this to be a product review and not an advertorial. You have the advantage of knowing this is my personal experience of shopping with them - and indeed, I am so pleased with the going-the-extra-mile customer service and high quality product I experienced via this product review, that I bought a second pair of shoes a month after receiving the first pair! :) FYI: the first pair is for this review, the second is just my own shopping. Hehe!

Examples of stuff you can buy, with a price range from anywhere between RM15 to RM500 for really high-end leather stuff (but the usual price range is RM50-RM200):











So how does Korean Fashion Station work?
Below is a screenshot of Korean Fashion Station - do your usual browsing and pick what you want to buy from any of the 28 webstores at the right sidebar. Then, email your enquiries or order to Korean Fashion Station, and they'll take it from there! :) They'll help you ship the item all the way from South Korea to your doorstep. Yay! The blogshop owner, Wai, is one of the sweetest and most patient young women I've ever met - and that's very important because when there's a bigger price tag and a different way of shopping, it's good that you can ask all the questions you need to ask. :D If you're worried about the language barrier (since the webstores are in Korean), don't worry because there's always Google Translate! :) And you can just ask Wai for more info. :P


And so that you can have more confidence in this blogshop before you buy anything, here are some questions I asked Korean Fashion Station :D I'm very excited to be able to share with my readers this gem of a blogshop - they are actually selling you their service of buying and delivering the product for you :D

Q&A with Wai
Owner of Korean Fashion Station
(KFS)
  • YSK: KFS is not your ordinary neighbourhood blogshop - what exactly does KFS do?
  • KFS: We are not just another blogshop you find on the netsphere. We are an agent specialized in bringing genuine Korean fashion products to the door-step of all Korean fashion lovers in Malaysia and other countries. We carry the most happening apparels from reputable Korean Fashion webstores like Cherrykoko, Naning9 Style, Dodostyle, Zeroback and etc.
Some shopper favourites (click on the screenshots below to go to the websites!)


  • YSK: What sort of items can people buy from your partner webstores?
  • KFS: There is a vast selection of highly fashionable Korean items like dresses, skirts, T-shirts, jackets, high heels, bags, shades, scarves, earrings and whatever you need to the one who stand out from the crowd. Yes we do not only feature products for fashion-conscious ladies but also for all the men out there.
The five incredibly stylish menswear stores:
Mutnam, Zeroback, 10milligram, Cityandman (YSK's personal favourite!), Palus.



Finally, boys (or men) can have many more choices in online shopping! :D
You can also shop for really nice gifts for your boyfriend/brother/husband/guy friend ;)


  • YSK: After shopping at KFS, I am a huge fan! :) I am 100% confident that items sold at KFS are high-quality authentic Korean products, but how would you reassure new and potential customers?
  • KFS: All products you get from us are guaranteed genuine and authentic. There is a dedicated page in our website for you to validate the genuinity of the product you have acquired. In addition, starting from mid-July, all products by Naning9 will be shipped with Naning9 certificates as a formal evidence for genuineness. Further details regarding this, do check our website for updates. :)


Personal experience: Your Shopping Kaki's shoes from Redopin :D
Very careful packaging - a box within a box too, lol!


  • YSK: Do you have any promotions for YourShoppingKaki readers reading this now? ;)
  • KFS: We have regular discounts and promotions going on all the time, so keep a lookout on Korean Fashion Station! :) As a bonus for YSK readers, enjoy discounted agent fees at only 5% (standard charge is 10%) for all products (subject to availability) from any Korean webstores listed in our website. Also, 10% discount will be given to YSK readers who purchase items from my sister blogshop - Gbless! Password for all these promotions: "I'm a YSK reader!" Promotion ends: 15th August 2010.


  • YSK: The items are all awesome, but there's no denying there will be those who feel the price range is higher than the usual blogshop market prices. So why are the items so worth it?
  • KFS: What you pay is what you get. All the products are made from high quality materials. Some are from materials like cowhide and silk. Quality is definitely guaranteed. What you see is what you get. 99.9% same as images viewed on the Korean official webstores. Some of the products are uniquely designed by their in-house designer. We are confident that you will be satisfied with the products from us when compared to other lower priced products from other blogshops. :D
Seriously, I cannot agree more with Korean Fashion Station -
I was truly impressed at the high quality and the fact that it's really the same as pictured :D
These are the denim sneaker heels I got for this product review:


The actual product I received is exactly the same,
really comfortable and really flawless!



  • YSK: Can you tell us more about some of the partner webstores of KFS? :)
  • KFS: One of the webstores, Itsbag solely sells bags. You can find any kind of fashionable bags designed by them and certain of their bag are made from high quality leather and cowhide. Ippiya is a webstore which feature apparels available in plus size range for plus size ladies. For those who love pretty lingerie or sexy swimwear, Semi.nanda is the webstore they should visit. Most of the webstores like StyleNanda, Naingirl and Jade (indeed almost all webstores) have their own unique handmade shoe series for those who desire high quality shoes. Buyers are encouraged to send in email if have any doubts about the products.


  • YSK: How does a customer calculate the total price to pay? All the prices are in Korean Won.
  • KFS: The conversion rates are subject to changes, but this is the current one:
  • For Malaysian customer: Current conversion rate: RM1 = KRW 310
  • [Item Cost (KWR) /310 + international shipping fee] + 10% (agent fee) = Amount you need to pay.
  • For International customer: Current Conversion Rate: 1USD = KRW 1130
  • [Item Cost (KWR) /1130 + international shipping fee] + 10% (agent fee) + 3.9% (Paypal fee) = Amount which you need to pay.
  • YSK: Can you explain more about what buyers are paying for? :)
  • KFS: Agent fee is the profit margin we earn. However, please take note that we have absorbed the miscellaneous charges like postage fee within Korea (note: Buyers may purchase goods from different stores, hence, items will be delivered to our partner in Korea and she will be responsible to gather and pack the items then only send out to buyers), payment transaction fee and etc. We use Korea Post EMS service to ship out the products from Korea to the dedicated destination and all shipping fee is based on the parcel weight. Estimated delivery lead time is about 14 working days, handmade & custom made products may take longer time i.e 21 working days to reach buyers.
  • YSK: Tell us more about your sprees! :)
  • KFS: We have organized one shopping spree before and the response was quite good. We will try to organize again in coming August and hope in future we’re able to organize every month. ;) Objective of Shopping Spree – to reduce the burden of shopping fee for buyers who wish to buy less items (i.e. one or two items). The detailed calculation method will be informed when the spree starts.
Example of Price Quotation
Below is an example of the pricing for the sneaker heels I received. As you can see if you click on the image, the shipping is RM45 because it was a single order to send one pair of shoes to me from Korea to Malaysia. The agent fee is 10% of the total price (shoes + shipping).

Click on the image above for a closer look
Thus, when you see the price of an item - let's say it's 10,000 Won. That's around RM32 - bear in mind you have to add shipping fees (RM45) and agent fees (10% x (45 + 32)), which adds up to about RM85. So, my advice on how you can save some money is by ordering a few items at one go - whether for yourself only or getting a few orders together (a group of friends perhaps), or joining one of Korean Fashion Station's sprees (as mentioned above) - once you save on shipping, you save a lot. :D Also, make use of the special discount for YSK readers that you're enjoying from now until 15th August (scroll up if you've forgotten what it was :P)!
Oh wow, but there are so many partner webstores - where do I start?
Ask yourself: What's your budget? What item in particular do you want - a new bag, a pair of shoes, a dress that isn't too common in Malaysia so you won't be all clashy-clashy with another girl at a party? Or do you just want to hop from store to store, and see what catches your eye? :D My personal favourite stores are StyleNanda and Redopin - but here are some that haven't been mentioned already above! :)

If you'd like to try out what your favourite Hollywood celebs have been wearing, there are 2 webstores called Flora and Miss Candy that produce clothes, bags, shoes and accessories that Tinseltownians have been spotted in! :D Fun, fun, fun! Good quality too!

Styleonme has a pretty strong collection of casual work outfits - graceful, neutral tones. Great for young working adults in conventional but not black-and-white office environments. On the other hand, IAmYuri is younger, more fun, more colourful - from oversized sunflower rings to tees and shorts or loose-fit jeans - but it is also casual and very easy for anyone to pull off.

PinknBabi is very doll-like, with frills and ruffled and prints - it celebrates a childlike wonder in your style. If you like cutesy things (whether sexy bikinis or toy-like earrings), this is the store for you! Very different from Occie - which is like fashion heaven for sports and fitness nuts :D Say goodbye to shapeless drabs when you work out or play sports!
I'm loving the style at Qnigirls - it has quite a hippie and boho collection, very relaxed even in their t-shirt designs. MAS, on the other hand, has very unique items I've never seen elsewhere - from their accessories to shoes to clothes, it carries a figure-flattering collection with more conservative undertones. But nothing too wild or colourful there :P


Mersh - more choices for the working lady! :) A massive collection of work-and-play outfits and accessories. Bagazimuri has a more casual collection, for shopping or hanging out at bazaars especially :) Or frolicking around at the beach (nice swimsuits) hehe!

Lessons To Share
The important thing here is to take your time in browsing each webstore (at least give each one a cursory glance to see which one speaks to your style) - here are 3 lessons I learnt while familiarising myself with Korean Fashion Station that I'd like to share:
(1) Compare prices - the same items DO appear in different webstores, and for different prices! For example, the sneaker heels I received from Redopin were over 50,000 Won - but it was less than 40,000 Won in Cherrykoko and between the 2 prices in DollyQueen. So, definitely compare prices because the same item has a 50% chance of being in at least 2 stores. Once you find the cheapest one and decide you want it - don't hesitate, order/enquire fast because they get sold out really quickly!
(2) Special offers on Korean Fashion Station - they regularly have promotions, so it'd be a great idea to make use of the promotions or discounts they offer! :)
(3) Practice makes perfect - don't get freaked out or turned off just because the Korean interface or Korean-language tabs look Greek (or in this case, Korean) to you :P They almost always have English words like "Shoes" or "Bags" or "Dresses" - and in the few webstores that everything (even the tabs) are in Korean, don't be afraid to just CLICK and explore! :P I also noticed that some of the webstores put shoes and bags under "Accessories" - so that's a quick tip to help you out! :)


Excited to start shopping, or at least browsing? :D
Click HERE to visit Korean Fashion Station for some quality shopping! :)

Happy Shopping!
Your Shopping Kaki :)

14 comments:

Korean Fashion Station said...

Thanks Sha-Lene!!! <3 I can't love you more!!! XD Thanks for the awesome review!! <3

Shanice said...

argh da review is too long shar...

natasya said...

Hi YSK, your review on Korean Fashion Station is so long. I got lost halfway reading. Info overload!

danielle fatima said...

it's not that long..there are pictures in that article so looks like info overloaded.however it helps a lot.

Sha-Lene said...

Whoops sorry guys, it really is super long, LOL! I didn't realise it until I just saw it here :P Will cut down in future, haha.. got carried away!

Anonymous said...

omg! i love the shoes picture. where is it? china?

Your Shopping Kaki said...

Hi Anonymous! :)
It's in South Korea :D
Those shoes are avaiable at http://koreanfashion2u.com as well!

irene said...

hi,

thanks u so much for the review. My friend and i really interested in the denim sneaker that u bought. We could not find the shoe website. can u please let us know which korean website to go. How much is this shoe by the way.

Thanks

irene

Tan said...

Hi. I just read your review blog and i fell in love denim high heels! Where can i find the exact same pair? thanks!

Your Shopping Kaki said...

Hi Tan & Irene :)

Glad you love the shoes too, hehe!

I got my pair from Redopin for RM200+, but there are significantly cheaper alternatives we didn't find until after. There are 3 Korean web stores selling this pair of shoes, which are:

DollyQueen
http://www.dollyqueen.net/Front/Product/?url=Product&product_no=HHSELFAA0007445

Occie
http://occie.com/Front/Product/?url=Product&product_no=010122AA0006776

Redopin
http://www.redopin.co.kr/Front/Product/?url=Product&product_no=SFSELF110003910

I would recommend DollyQueen because it's the cheapest there :D The same shoes, no worries! :)

Anonymous said...

very useful information, clears my doubt about shopping with KFS! keep it coming!

frolic said...

how's the quality like? same as picture?

Your Shopping Kaki said...

Yes frolic :)

Korean Style Online said...

Nice blog and good writing, continue and keep up a good work korean fashion malaysia online / online shopping blog. have a nice day

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