Here's the second of the blogs I wrote them on the way back from Japan and Korea back in November last year...This one's about Korea...
Seoul is an incredible city. It has developed so much over the past decade. I’ve said it before but I have really noticed the changes over the last year since my Daks days. Skyscrapers are scattered across the skyline as new buildings go up in what seems like merely months!
We’re back in Seoul for the third time this year to present our direction for Cambridge Members for Autumn/Winter 2010. We are consulting to the brand on all levels including design. Although our days were filled with meeting after meeting with the formal design team, casual design team, factory managers as well as the directors, we still managed to enjoy some down time...
One morning we took the chance to hike up a small mountain outside the city called Mt Cheung-kyei with a few of Cambridge Members team. We were hiking for around 3 hours, and it was great to get some fresh air and see the city from above as well as a good opportunity to get to know the team better. On our descent we stopped to watch a man making fresh tofu in large iron pots outside his restaurant before heading in to have a delicious chilli tofu entrée followed by chilli chicken soup. You become so accustomed to the spiciness of Korean food after a while that you crave having chilli on every dish. One evening the Managing Director took us for Italian, Korean style. It tasted so bland, not because it wasn’t an incredible meal but my taste buds had become so used to spices and adding condiments to everything whilst in Seoul I felt like I couldn’t taste anything!
We had a day or two to do shop research and check out some of the Cambridge Members stores. We are working with the team to rejuvenate the brands image which also includes store design and layout as well as setting up a flagship store. So we stopped by some of the department stores to visit the concession areas and meet with the Managers of the departments. The Chief Designer and Merchandiser took us to a great little area with lots of boutiques in the Kang Nam area and also to Garosoo St which is lined with luxury little pet shops, modern bars and restaurants and young Korean labels.
We also spent one morning meeting up with the factory team. They gave us a tour of the building and talked us through the machinery they are using as well as the processes. It is extremely modern, advanced and in immaculate order. In this day and age we hear so much about poor working conditions in factories and so to see a factory that was humming with energy and ladies enjoying a cameraderie was really nice to see. That’s how it should be!
On our last evening in Korea we went to a fantastic sushi restaurant (I would have to say one of the best I have ever been to) called Che-ju Mul Hang (which mean’s the Che-ju island port). The ground is cut out under the low tables so you sit on the floor with your feet dropped to a lower level. Dish after dish of different types of raw fish, jellyfish, sea snails and abalone came out decorated with vibrantly coloured orchids which went down rather nicely with fruity Korean wine! After dinner we headed to Alice’s Karaoke Bar for some renditions of the Beatles and I must saw I scored top marks according to the Karaoke machine!! Simon Cowell here I come!
Email Tim: firstname.lastname@example.org