Top traditional casual brand Beanpole rewrites itself based on Korean heritage

Korea’s top traditional casual brand, Beanpole, has marked 30 years since its launch by undergoing a major renewal. The label’s new identity features Korean retro and street-inspired apparel as well as other classic looks.

Jung Ku-ho (left), creative director of the Beanpole division, and Park Nam-young (right), division leader of Beanpole, introduce the brand’s renewal.

The Samsung C&T Fashion Group brand’s reboot included working with Jung Ku-ho, creative director of the Beanpole division. The renowned designer wanted to make something that tells Korea’s story and moves beyond British and American influences.

“I participated in this Rewrite project with the purpose of creating a Korean representative national brand based on Korea’s heritage such as the emotions, culture, and philosophy that only Koreans own,” Jung told reporters while unveiling Beanpole’s new clothing and accessories on Oct. 15. “Based on the motto ‘the most Korean is the most global,’ while keeping Beanpole’s brand identity, we stylishly contained Korea’s culture and pride in not only the products but also the stores and service.”

Marking its 30th anniversary, this rebranding means being reborn as a sustainable brand with a new image encompassing products, stores, and visuals, effective from the spring/summer 2020 collection.

Creating a classic Korean design

Some of the most obvious signs of change can be found in the company’s new logos. Beanpole has made a new Hangeul logo using its brand identity and distinctive design point. The distinctiveness comes from the Korean letters as they have a power and attraction that appeals to all generations based on the fact that they contain the root, culture and emotions of Koreans. Beanpole created an exclusive font, and also its unique check pattern by stylishly designing Hangeul consonants such as “ㅂ” and “ㅍ” and incorporating them into the pattern.

Korean letters, or Hangeul, phonetically spell out Beanpole, while the English version features a retro digital font.

Beanpole’s iconic penny-farthing logo has also been updated with a modern reinterpretation based on the philosophy of “two wheels that make the world move.” The original version features a man in top-hat and tails, but shoppers will also notice another option showing a more youthful man wearing a cap, as well as others depicting a woman, a boy, and a girl. The contemporary additions have lost the penny-farthing’s spokes and present a more concise aesthetic and impression of sustainability, while there have been extra adjustments to the riders’ physique, hairstyle, clothing and even angle of riding.

The penny-farthing is recognizable as Beanpole’s classic logo, but there are several new additions (left to right): Heritage, Man, Woman, Boy, and Girl.

890311 line for millennials

Street-inspired and retro are some of the characteristics of Beanpole's global exclusive 890311 product line.

Beanpole is launching a special line of clothing titled “890311” inspired by the date of the brand’s launch on March 11, 1989. This line aims to rev up communication with the online generations and to secure a position as a global brand. It uses a design that symbolizes Korea’s representative flower, the plum blossom, and colors that show the atmosphere of the 1960s and 70s to create a retro mood. Inspired by bus, taxi, factory, and rugby sports uniforms, 890311 will release workwear and streetwear that have a contemporary design and practicality.

Beanpole’s 890311 product line and pop-up store designs reflect a retro mood.

A sustainable brand with eco-friendly products and various collaborations

As a sustainable brand, Beanpole will launch eco-friendly products and collaborations. It will launch down jackets and padded jackets made from waste plastic bottles and fishing nets in January 2020. These products are made from thread derived from bottles and nets that have gone through a cleaning and spinning process. They minimize pollution while being lightweight and offering good thermal qualities.

Beanpole will also continue developing lifestyle products such as stationery and scented candles using eco-friendly materials for conscious customers.

Additionally, the brand will launch collaborations with late photographer Han Young-soo, who is renowned for Asian and original work. Through the collaboration, T-shirts and pants have the beauty of blank space and a mature and stylish aesthetic design.

New-look stores motivated by Korean heritage in 1960s and 70s

A further eye-catching feature of Beanpole’s renewal is the design of its stores. The inspiration for the new design comes from the colors and shapes of Korean architecture from the 1960s and 70s.

Beanpole’s new store design is inspired by Korean architecture and houses in the 1960s and 70s.

In particular, Beanpole shed light on the 1960s and 70s, when western culture became more familiar to Koreans, and showcased modern products and stores motivated by architecture and houses at that time as well as Hangeul designs to keep the emotions and cultures of Koreans and the legitimacy of Korea.

By modernizing 1960s and 70s architecture such as houses and apartment buildings, Beanpole redesigned its store layout including the floor, trees, ceiling, glass and lights.

A Korean identity, a global outlook

Just because Beanpole has reached back in time to rewrite its story from a local perspective does not mean its focus is only on the Korean market. Park Nam-young, division leader of Beanpole, emphasized, “We will expand communication with millennials and Generation Z as well as existing customers and provide new brand experiences while establishing the foundation for global business expansion based on Korean originality.”

As the Executive Vice President of Samsung C&T Fashion Group, Park Cheol-kyoo said, “We hope to instill life into the brand to make it last over the next decades.” So, here’s to another 30 years!

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