Dazed’s Korean Soul

As the South Korean edition of Dazed & Confused prepares to celebrate its fourth anniversary, we chat to editor NaYoon Ahn

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South Korean capital Seoul is a constantly changing and explosive melting pot, especially in the field of fashion. Magazines regularly pop up, new stores, restaurants and galleries continue to enrich the city's cultural life. Dazed Korea, having run for four years, was first just another one of those mentioned fashion mags, sitting on the newsagent shelves, but today the magazine and its editor, NaYoon Ahn, are part of Seoul's cultural establishment, helping new fashion, art and music entrepreneurs to grow prosperously in South Korea.

Dazed Digital: How long has Dazed Korea been around for and how did it start?
NaYoon Ahn:
This coming May it will be celebrating four years. The publisher Se Hoon Lee had started an underground magazine about six years ago called Bling. It started out documenting the club culture and street fashion. It was a huge success because there were no magazines like it at the time. After that Se Hoon thought that Korea also really needed a non-generic fashion magazine like Dazed.

DD: How was Dazed received at first compared to now?
NaYoon Ahn: 
I think we are at a point now in history were people see things globally so it’s not as difficult as it might have been ten years ago to introduce an overseas magazine. We have a specific readership that we reach, I would say they are intellectual with a strong knowledge of fashion and they are wanting something deeper than what is being offered with some of the larger publications.

DD: I noticed that some of your covers are different what is the reasoning for that?
NaYoon Ahn: 
We like to collaborate with artists and musicians here to do a fashion shoot with. If we really like the shoot then we might decide to use one of those images for the cover. I think too, that having a local artist or celebrity on the cover helps it to have a Korean identity as well.

DD: What age group would you say is your largest readership? 
NaYoon Ahn: You know, in the past we used to look at things like age but I don’t like to think in terms of age anymore because you can have someone in their 50s or older that are interested in the same thing as someone in their late 20s. It’s more about the mindset rather than age.

DD: What are some fun things that you guys have been up to lately?
NaYoon Ahn: 
We began having parties throughout the year called DAZED NIGHT. It’s a way for us to collaborate with different brands, artists, and musicians. It’s fun to collaborate with influencers and artists for the magazine as well an outside venue.

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