Retro culture captivates Korea

Retro is in fashion these days. You can see many people wearing so-called end-of-century fashion, which seemed to be forever out of fashion, colorful printed cropped T-shirts, and scrunchie. From dawn to people who lined up to buy re-launched Pok챕mon bread , things that were popular when I was young have become a trend again. Now 2022, why are we so crazy about retro?

The retro trend centered on MZ can be seen as a result of reflecting the characteristics of MZ that values their own identity. The younger generation, who are familiar with digital, has little experience with analog sensibility, and the MZ generation, which has a clear personality and is sensitive to trends, accepts the retro itself as a new experience. Recently, a new word called Newtro, which combines new and retro, has emerged, which means reinterpreting the past trend beyond simply recreating it and reinterpreting it according to the present. It is providing nostalgia for the middle-aged and new experiences for the younger generation. Let셲 take a look at Korea셲 retro culture.

Fashion is one of the areas where retro is most actively used. Low-rise items and cropped T-shirts, which have recently emerged as trends, are all so-called 쏽2K (year 2000) fashion that was popular from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Y2K means kilo, which means K means 1000, which is a computer program that uses only the last two digits of the year, and is an error in the computer program that recognizes 2000 as 1900. There are many parody contents that mainly evoke the emotions of the end of the century, and what was popular and what was used during this period are now being re-populated. Famous Korean singer Taeyeon accelerated the Y2K fashion craze by wearing a pink tracksuit popularized by Paris Hilton in the 2000s in the concept photo shoot for her album 쏻eekend. In line with this trend, the fashion industry is also releasing retro-style costumes such as colorful patterned shirts, velvet sportswear, and wide pants. In fact, style commerce platform 쐚igzag said that Y2K fashion product transactions surged compared to last year. Now, the MZ generation is routinely consuming retro fashion items reinterpreted with a modern sense beyond getting vintage costumes or inheriting clothes their parents wore in college.

The same is true of the food industry, which has been affected by the retro craze. SAMLIP re-launched Pok챕mon Bread, which was highly popular in the past. Pok챕mon bread has been so out of stock that it has been lined up in front of convenience stores since dawn that it has been out of stock due to the desire to collect stickers called the enclosed Tibbutibu seal rather than the taste of bread. , Pok챕mon bread was released in February, sold 1.5 million units within a week of its launch, and people even resold them with more money. ORION, the same industry, re-launched its snack product Wackle for the first time in 15 years last year, and sold 7.8 million cumulative sales over 10 months, becoming a good product.

Coffee shops are also offering desserts and drinks that appeals to retro tastes. Starbucks Korea has launched Whole Grain Oat Drink and Black Sesame Cream Cake, while Twosome Place has launched Mugwort Latte and Black Sesame Cafe Latte. Food that follows the retro trend is receiving great response from the younger generation for its healthy and different taste.

Retro culture can also be easily found in the content market. In the K-POP market, music videos that stimulate analog sensibility through the VHS effect or the 4:3 screen ratio are emerging, and in the broadcasting industry, materials that were popular in the early 2000s are being brought to recent entertainment programs. In Korea셲 famous entertainment program named <Hang Out With Yoo> hosted a project to release a song by casting popular stars in the early 2000s. Retro-inspired songs completed through the project became so popular that they swept the music charts. In addition, the tvN drama 쏷wenty-five Twenty-one, which was popular in Korea recently, was greatly loved by the public for its warm melting of retro sensibilities against the backdrop of the 90s. In line with this trend, the film and OTT industries also showed a move to remaster and distribute contents that were popular in the past. In March, the Korean theater district re-released works by director Wang Ka-wi, including <Chungking Express>, <Happy Together>, and <Days Of Being Wild>, which dominated the 90s, drawing attention.

The biggest reason why these products and services were launched is the request of the 쁟onsumer. As a new word referring to this, there is 쏺oisumer, which is a composite word of 쁵oice and 쁟onsumer. The MZ generation actively uses SNS and is good at expressing their opinions. They ask companies what they want and provide feedback through SNS. Through this, companies can quickly check their responses to their products and check consumers needs. Companies have identified the high demand of consumers for their 쏯ewtro products, so the risk of failure is low and consumers can buy and enjoy them. This is a win-win for both companies and consumers.

In addition, LP was in fashion, and unlike MZ generation, who was familiar with digital music listening, listening to music comfortably on their smartphones, more and more people consumed it because they could feel the novelty and analog charm of listening to music by playing turntables. In addition, there is also a MONAMI Store Seongsu branch, which is an experience store with the theme of MONAMI Factory. The interior with the motif of the MONAMI Seongsu-dong factory in the 1960s is equipped with an experience of making existing stationery products and my own fountain pen ink, and imprinting service, so about 1,000 people visited on the opening day.

In recent years, the consumption trend is experienced. Thanks to the free retro culture and social media such as Instagram, it has resulted in the retro craze. For the older generation, retro, which gives us a new experience, makes us feel a sense of homogeneity and bond, not a trend for a moment, and satisfies many generations. Retro, which creates an atmosphere that considers new rather than looking at other cultures from an exclusive perspective, makes it possible to understand other generations well.

However, the spread of retro culture does not have only a positive influence. As remade products and remastered contents of the past are successful one after another, the supply of new and original creations is decreasing. Some point out that the trend of retro culture is also the result of the era of 쐍o future. It means that people lose the will to change and grow in the face of a dark future and find stability in a definite past. We should observe, understand, and selectively accept these cultural phenomena analytically.