Tuesday, April 2, 2013

fly to you: Secondhand clothing in Daegu

It was a Saturday afternoon in Daegu, bright and sunny. I hadn't been awake long, having trudged off to bed around three in the morning and proceeding to sleep for my requisite eight hours. Alanna and I had French toast and some of the leftover wine-poached apples for brunch. Then, when she went to get some work done, I decided to head into the downtown area to do some shopping, knowing that Daegu has a reputation for being a fashionable city.

I'd been in Daegu once before, but I was in the downtown in the evening, and I didn't see much of it anyway. So, walking around the wide, pedestrian-friendly streets was still like walking around in a maze, as I honestly had no idea which direction I was going, or even what I was looking for. Luckily, it didn't take me long to come upon a vintage (빈티지) and secondhand clothing store (중고품 가게), which reminded me of how much I'd enjoyed vintage shopping in Hongdae. The store was called "fly to you".

I went straight in, and was met with an awesome sight: lots of clothes. Lots and lots and lots of clothes. Racks of 'em. Neatly organized, but certainly not in the antiseptic way a brand retail store has its clothing. I wandered through the large first floor before realizing that men's clothing was on the second floor. Then, it was like I entered jeans paradise. Lots of jeans. And jean shirts. And cardigans, sweaters, shirts, jackets, and lots of odds and ends, like colorful suspenders, backpacks, and really dirty shoes. Not all of it was vintage, but all of it was secondhand. I asked a worker where all the clothes had come from, and he told me they were mostly from Japan.
Racks upon racks upon racks of secondhand jeans (at fly to you #2).
I found a pair of skinny jeans and dark green corduroy pants, both from Uniqlo, for ₩30,000 each (about $27 each). Although that's not "cheap" -- by my standards, anyway -- it's still easily half off the original price. I checked before buying. And hey, on top of all that, the jeans were too long for my short little legs, so a staff member  hemmed them to the right length for free. That's awesome.
Here's the man who will hem your ill-fitting purchases for you! What a great and unique service for a place like this.
When I returned to the hostel with my finds, Alanna instantly decided she wanted to go to that store. I wasn't sure if I could remember where it was, but I knew from chatting with the store owner that there are actually two branches. I figured that if we couldn't find one, we could look for the other.

So, later in the afternoon, Alanna and I set off to find "fly to you" again. I must confess that I got lost in the downtown labyrinth within ten minutes. I had absolutely no idea where I was going, and the GPS on my phone wasn't working very well, and I couldn't seem to find the correct address... Almost an hour had passed, and we were still lost, and I was just about ready to go (because we had to return to the hostel soon to get ready to attend Adam's concert that evening). But! Literally as soon as I had said, "Okay, I think I'm ready to give up," we turned a corner and saw "fly to you"! Except it was the second branch of the store, embarrassingly far away from the first branch, which I had been looking for.

I guess it didn't matter, though, since this second branch was very similar to the first. A bit smaller, but brighter, and still very organized. In this store, a staff member was very eager to help me find a shirt that fit and even tried to style an outfit for me that made me laugh when I saw myself in the mirror. Alanna went on a spree and bought a jacket, a cardigan, and a pair of pants. She also chatted with some of the staff members; they were definitely friendlier here. Branch #2 also had a man who altered and hemmed clothes.
Alanna and me at fly to you #2. The resident stylist tied my ascot for me. Just so you know, I did not buy any of these clothes (except for the jeans and shoes I'm wearing).
I took my camera along this time, so all of the photos in this entry are from fly to you #2, the second branch (or smaller branch, or southern branch).
fly to you #2 (플라이투유 2호점). I'm not exactly sure what "fly to you" is supposed to mean...
Just inside the entrance, there are clothes and shoes and... a motorcycle.
Lots of clothes and accessories, very neatly organized (for a secondhand store, that is).
So, Alanna and I had a great time thrift(ish) shopping in Daegu. It was a chore for us to find the stores, so I'll try to make it easier for you if you ever want to visit.

Address of fly to you #1: 대구시 중구 동성로1가 11-3. (Daegu City, Jung-gu, Dongseongno 1-ga 11-3)
Address of fly to you #2: 대구시 중구 봉산동 13-2. (Daegu City, Jung-gu, Bongsandong 13-2)

(There was a third branch that used to be located in between these two, but it closed recently. Also, if I heard correctly, they are planning to open a special store for the company's own clothing brand. I do not know where that is, however.)
Here is a map from the store's website. fly to you #1 is north, not far from Daegu (Subway) Station, and fly to you #2 is south, close to Banwoldang Station (the intersection of the red and green lines). You can click on the map to enlarge it.
Here is their website (in Korean). Here is their online store (in Korean and some random English). Lastly, I added both branches to my thrift shop Google map. Enjoy!

View Thrifty in Korea in a larger map

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