The latest installment of Essentials focuses on Mr. Lee aka Wonjong Lee of Ecru Seoul, a Korean store that specializes in understated, timeless goods and brands. Mr. Lee started his journey in the fashion industry back in 2000 with a small store located in the Gangnam area of Seoul, South Korea where he imported products from Milan and Paris to resell to the fashion-conscious in his home country. He found it a challenge when ordering direct from designers and brands, so he shifted his focus to small, independent Japanese labels. After gaining some traction, Mr. Lee launched Ecru with his wife in 2004, stocking a hybrid of items from both European and Japanese brands including Maison Martin Margiela, Acne, WTAPS, UNDERCOVER as well as their own in-house line.
For his Essentials, Mr. Lee sticks to a bare minimum of staple travel items, whose eclectic branding acts as a commentary to his brand’s ethos. He includes accessories such as a Sony RX1 camera complemented with a WTAPS strap, a WTAPS cap, a 1971 Rolex Explorer II “Steve McQueen orange” wristwatch, and Sennheiser headphones in a Puebco case. Each of these items have a dualist focus of superior craftsmanship and understated appeal, which Mr. Lee attempts to replicate with his store. To complete the list, he has included Escentric Molecules’ 01 perfume and La:Bruket’s hand cream and lip balm.