Retro style is becoming a heartwarming trend in times of pandemic


Lee Ok-young bought an old-fashioned dining table and dishes that reminded him of his childhood years. (Courtesy of Lee)

Remembering the good times is natural when we face difficult times in life. Some take comfort in remembering and talking about the good old days, wishing they could turn back time. As such, the retro trend has grown rapidly this year, as more people view unprecedented challenges in these times of a pandemic as a distraction.

32-year-old housewife Lee Ok-young recently bought some old-fashioned items that reminded her of her childhood years, including a table you could see at her grandparents’ house and widely green dishes. used for street food in Korea.

“We rarely eat in restaurants these days due to the pandemic, so I started shopping for some old fashioned items to have fun with my family. They make me feel like I’m in the good old days and the food looks more delicious when served with old-fashioned dishes, ”Lee said.

An LP store in Daejeon, Turn Turn Turn, which holds more than 50,000 LP records, has seen its activity increase as more people tend to stay at home during the pandemic. Old-fashioned music, which was very popular in Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, is experiencing a new renaissance as people revisit the culture, the store owner said.

“What LP music sets apart from other musical devices is that it sounds ‘hot’, which is hard to describe. It has something you can’t expect from current music devices, including smartphones, CDs or high-tech speakers, ”the store owner, who declined to give his name, told the Korea Herald. . “More and more middle-aged customers are visiting our store with their children to share the culture together. “

According to G9, an online shopping platform operated by eBay Korea, sales of retro culture-related products have risen sharply this year, including turntables for LP music, which have jumped 138% year-on-year. . The retro culture is run by people in their 30s and 40s, who make up 37 percent and 35 percent of customers, respectively, according to the company.

Some brands have launched products in old-fashioned packaging this year. Seoul Milk has launched four flavors of ice cream with old-fashioned packaging that is creating a buzz on social media, with many people wondering where to buy the products. Shinsegae Food recently featured an “old-fashioned fried chicken” presented in a brown bag reminiscent of nostalgia for old times.

Seoul Milk has launched four varieties of ice cream with retro packaging.  (Seoul milk)

Seoul Milk has launched four varieties of ice cream with retro packaging. (Seoul milk)

“The popularity of retro culture is in part attributed to the pandemic. The hard times seem to have caused many people to buy items that remind them of their good old days,” said Lee Hyang-eun, professor in the service department and of design. “Many retro-related products are inexpensive and cost effective, which is why many people easily appreciate them in generally tough times.”

Lee also attributed the trend to the consumer media culture where people rely on social media such as YouTube and Instagram, where many people share their ordinary lives, a trend that has intensified during the pandemic as more and more people are staying at home.

Old fashioned glasses have become must-have collectibles.  (Courtesy of Baek)

Old fashioned glasses have become must-have collectibles. (Courtesy of Baek)

Baek Min-seo helps his father who sells used retro products in a market by promoting the products online. Among retro products, mugs from the 1990s are particularly popular, as they have become collector’s items among some younger ones.

“More and more people are interested in retro products this year, as many brands are launching old-fashioned models and celebrities appear with old-fashioned styles. it’s definitely gotten trendy regardless of age, ”Baek said.

By Park Yuna ([email protected])


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