It took a few years, but Nike has finally decided to capitalize on Korea’s popularity with “Nike by You.” With Nike by You, you can customize your own sweaters, shirts and caps with official Nike logos and patches. Most importantly, each Nike store in Seoul offers exclusive patches and designs for that specific location.
Lexi and I went in to design my new everyday-wear cap. Here’s everything you need to know about designing your own.
Where is the Hongdae Nike Store?
Nike by You designs are handled on the first floor at the Hongdae Nike store. There are only 4 design stations which limits the number of people who can work on their designs at any given time. We tried going on a Saturday, but the line was LONG. So Lexi and I went in on a Friday night. There was no line, but we had to finish the designs by 7:20 PM.
- 23, Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04039
How Much Does It Cost?
The basic cap costs 29,000 KRW and comes in two colors (white and black) and three sizes (small, medium, large). Each patch design costs an additional 5,000 KRW and you can customize your Nike gear as much as you want until you run out of space.
How Does It Work?
First, you have to choose the piece of clothing you’ll be designing. They have shirts, sweaters and hats of multiple sizes. Some of the designs are specific to one type of clothes (silk screen designs are for clothes, only patches can be used on the hats). Once you’ve chosen your article(s) of clothing, one of the staff will bring it to your station.
Each station has samples of all the patches and designs available at the store. The classic Nike designs are cool, but you’ll be able to find those at other Nike stores in Seoul. The real stars of the show are going to be the Hongdae specific designs. I mean, really, why else would you even come here?
Once we narrowed down our choices, the staff brought us the 4 patches we wanted. We chose a nice mix of the Hongdae specific designs along with one of the classic Nike logos. Since each cap comes with the Nike logo on the front, I wanted to have another Nike logo reflected underneath. Then, we had the arduous task of using fabric tape to attach the patches. There are a few caveats here: you can’t layer the patches on top of each other and you can’t place patches on the bill (brim) of your hat.
It all sounds so easy until you’re faced with the options. Which color patches and where do they go? I must’ve tried the hat on 10 times with the patches on different areas before we settled on the final design. Looking around, we could see we weren’t the only ones.
Once we were finished, we made our purchase and carefully handed my hat to the staff. It only took 15 minutes for my hat to be finished, which was enough time to actually browse through the store and see what else they had to offer.
It was a lot more fun designing my cap than I thought it would be. The entire process is really easy and the designs they have on hand made me interested to try a hoodie next time. I don’t like corny sweaters or t-shirts from different cities, but this was a nice exception.
We arrived late so we didn’t have to wait, but weekends tend to be crowded. Nike by You shops rarely run out of design elements (patches, logos, etc), but they have been known to sell out of their clothes and specific sizes. This is especially true of their Myeongdong location.
Speaking of which, the Myeongdong and Gangnam locations offer their own exclusive patches and clothes. But Lexi and I have lived around the Hongdae area for about 10 years so I wanted the Hongdae exclusive patches. You might want to check out some of the other shops, but I’m more than happy with my Nike Hongdae cap.