I follow a lot of bag bloggers back home in the U.S., and though I love me some designer bags, it’s sometimes impractical and expensive to hop on every flyby bag trend that won’t make it past the season.
Unless I absolutely love a piece or it’s a classic, I prefer to shop for midprice fashion items that are quality enough that they may last past a few seasons. Because fashion is cyclical and if you don’t believe it, you’re not waiting long enough. Many of my bags and clothing — with care! — can hibernate until they’re back in style again.
A lot of Western luxury or mid-tier brands are outrageously overpriced in South Korea which makes it silly to drop the cash on a bag that you know costs less in your home country. You can read more about where to get a good deal on pre-loved bags in South Korea in my article, Where to Buy Pre-Loved Luxury Bags in Seoul, South Korea, and why it may not really make sense to import or ship all of your favorite fashion pieces from overseas (with some exceptions) in How to Calculate and Pay Import Tax in Korea When Shopping Overseas.
Bag Trends On My Radar
Unlike clothing or shoes, handbags see no size. It’s difficult for mid-sized or plus-sized men and women to shop in South Korea — and let’s face it, Asia in general — due to size constrictions. But bags? Literally, anyone with arms or hands can carry a bag.
I’ve intentionally included mostly Korean handbag brands with the occasional exception in order to promote little-known bag brands overseas.
At least one or two bags on this list are made in China. I don’t think the quality of “Made in China” bags is inherently bad. Some luxury manufacturers, Prada included, manufacture in China, and you can form your own opinion on whether or not the quality matches the price.
So, here it is. This is what you probably came for before I went on a little ramble. Would you like to know what pieces I have my eye on that are easily shoppable in South Korea? Some of these bags are also available internationally through wconcept.com (US) or through the brands’ international stores.
If you want to read bag reviews, I recommend checking the Korean website before purchasing and using Google Translate to scroll through customer photos.
Side note: FYI, as my collection of designer handbags keep growing, here’s a little-known fact: Samorga is actually a Korean brand. I recently purchased a bag organizer from Samorga in Korea, and it was exactly what I needed to maintain the structure and organize my little knick-knacks for my Goyard tote bag.
This handbag has this ugly-cute quality about it, and though I normally don’t go for faux leather pieces, I don’t think you really want to spend a fortune on something that may not last past the season. So go ahead, take this squishy lime bag for a spin!
Made from cow leather and twill cotton. Priced at 178,000 won in Korea and $150.34 USD internationally at \u003ca href=\u0022http://en.atlm.kr/33/?idx=17\u0022 target=\u0022_blank\u0022\u003een.atlm.kr\u003c/a\u003e.
I struggled a bit with where to place this Atelier de Lumen bag. Puffer, sort of? It’s a little more structured and less squishy than the puffer trend these days.
Quilted Leather Bags
Shiny quilted leather bucket bag with silver chain hardware and key strap. Priced at 228,000 won in Korea.
This Other And bag is giving me Chanel quilt vibes, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. But considering the latest Chanel price increases, hey! Why not?
Half-moon silhouette bag with a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap to switch to shoulder bag to a crossbody bag. The bag can also become a belt bag by inserting the strap into the back holes. Embellished with gold metal hardware and an extra decorative chain. There’s an inside pocket to carry small stuff. Made from leather and lined with twill cotton. Priced at 239,000 won in Korea and $279.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
Let me take a moment to pause and reflect on Ostkaka‘s name choice in the international market. I like your bags, but please remove the ‘kaka’ from your name. Signed, the rest of the world.
The Raive Luke bag is giving serious Fendi Baguette vibes. The structured shoulder bag comes with a wide strap and an alternative chain strap available separately. Made from real cow leather with either gold or silver hardware depending on the color combo. Priced at 168,000 won in Korea.
It’s a classic, minimalist baguette bag with a fairly roomy interior and a flat bottom. The hardware is brass and the top closes with a zipper. Made from cow leather from Italy and lined with linen and cotton. Priced at 238,000 won in Korea and $278.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.co.kr.
The retro round body and flap design are combined with Le Meme signature sealing stamp button decoration to deliver a vintage mood. It is a hobo shoulder bag that can be worn over the shoulder and has several perforations in the strap, so it can be comfortably adjusted to fit any body type. Made from glossy Vox Cow Leather and Twill Cotton. Priced at 328,000 won in Korea and $368.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
Zara’s faux pearl shoulder bag has a fabric exterior and faux pearl details. The lining is satin and there is a zip closure to keep your things in securely. The Zara product number is 6217/010. Priced at 79,000 won in Korea.
The limited edition checkered bag from Stand Oil comes with two magnetic closures, an inner flap, and several internal pockets. Made with synthetic leather and shaped like a classic rectangle with long straps to wear over the shoulder. Priced at 98,000 won in Korea.
The Folnua Oval Bag is a casual, rounded tote that can we born as a shoulder bag or crossbody. Made from soft textured cow leather and lined with polyster. It has an Inner open pocket and comes with a dust bag. Priced at 319,000 won in Korea and $359.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
Osoi is one of those brands that I’ve been keeping an eye on. In Korea, you can purchase their bags at musinsa.com, 29cm.co.kr, wconcept.co.kr, eqlstore.com, and osoi.co.kr. Internationally, they’re also available at matchesfashion.com, en.osoi.co.kr, and us.wconcept.com. They also sell shoes, but yeah, my feet are too big (EU 41/US 10) for Korean shoes.
Structured bags and briefcases make you look ever so polished! Depending on the outfit and the style of the bag, it can look a little stuffy like you’re on your way to the office. An overly structured bag isn’t as forgiving when filling it up either. Sometimes too many pockets and dividers can be a hindrance.
This chic leather briefcase-style bag has a very vintage feel and simple silhouette. It also has visible piping, light contrast stitching, an embossed front logo, and it’s zippered all the way around. Priced at 369,000 won in Korea and $391.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
Tiny bags, also known as Barbie bags, are incredibly cute but tricky. On the opposite spectrum from oversized totes, tiny bags can also sometimes make you look bigger. On a positive note, they won’t contribute much to arm fatigue or a sore back from lugging around a heavy object all day!
You honestly can’t fit a lot of things in these bags, but you would totally give off this whole don’t-give-a-f$%^ vibe. At least you have the true essentials, right? Credit card, check. Phone, well, if you’re like me and have a giant phone, you may want a bigger bag. You could keep your subway card in there for sure!
The Lune is a hobo shoulder bag with an adjustable strap so the bag can be worn crossbody. It has a round shape, gold-stamped logo, and gold hardware. There is one internal compartment, zipper pockets, and a hidden magnetic closure. Made from cow leather. Priced at 299,000 won in Korea and $339.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
Very minimal-looking shoulder bag with an adjustable strap that can be worn as a crossbody. There is an Inside pocket and zipper closure. It has great storage capacity and it is made from cow leather and artificial leather. The bag was inspired by Italian designer, Piero Gatti. Priced at 192,000 won in Korea and $222.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
The ridge shoulder bag has a casual, slouchy look. Made with sheep leather, it’s also soft to the touch and flexible. Easy to carry for daily use. It can also be used as a tote by tying the strap to the desired length. The inside is finished with a sturdy canvas material so that you can easily store your belongings. However, some reviews noted that the straps were a bit on the thinner side, so the bag can be quite heavy if overstuffed. Priced at 219,000 won in Korea and $279 USD in the U.S at us.wconcept.com.
The knot bag is a small tote bag made with soft sheepskin. The lining is made of solid canvas material, and it can be opened/closed with a magnet. It features a rounded shape with a knotted bow detail. Priced at 215,000 won in Korea and $255 USD in the U.S at us.wconcept.com.
I enjoy a good bucket bag, and some bucket bags tend to remain classic depending on the colors and design.
Bucket tote with an adjustable crossbody strap and a unique knot detail with embossed logo. The handle can be rotated and the strap is detachable. There’s also a magnetic snap button closure and inner zipper pocket. Priced in Korea at 219,000 won and $259.00 USD in the U.S. at us.wconcept.com.
The Adele drawstring bag is a classic bucket bag with light-colored contrast stitching and silver hardware. There is an inner pocket, a top handle, and a small flap to cover your belongings. Made from cow leather. Priced at 219,000 won in Korea. The bag is not yet available on us.wconcept.com, however, it’s available on their website, intl.hoze.kr for $219.00 USD.
Contrast-colored woven tote bag that is made from woven paper straw. The Zara product number is 6144/910. Priced at 39,000 won in Korea.
This net bag has a built-in woven pouch and a drawstring closure. The handles are twisted rope. Made from polyester. Priced at 59,900 won in Korea.
A shopper tote made with straw and finished with a crochet basket weave. Priced at 29,000 won in Korea.
This is a beautiful basic that you can find at H&M in Korea that gives you a classic summer look.
Everyday Tote Bags
I couldn’t resist throwing an eco tote in there. As much as I love fancy leather bags, most of my day-to-day errands are managed with a large, lightweight tote that can hold just about anything.
This easy canvas tote with leather piping can be worn as a crossbody with an adjustable detachable strap. Silver hardware. Priced at 580,000 won in Korea.
A simple tote bag with a thick strap. Made from polyester. Priced at 58,000 won in Korea.
This eco tote with the words, “Love For All”, playfully displayed on the side has a long cotton strap and shorter handle. Made from 100% cotton. Priced at 34,000 won in Korea.