N-Po Generation

Film and Vintage Clothes for Digital Natives in South Korea

3 min read by Sa-eh Kim.
Published on .
Seoul city and Jieun.

Digital natives, millennials, or the N-po generation in South Korea aren’t as comfortable with modern gadgetry as one may think. We like old stuff and wistfully wonder about the days before the internet-enabled toasters.

Some say we’re pretentious. And we may look the part with our baggy pants, plaid shirts, and film cameras. But there’s something in this lifestyle that appeals to me, something more than just wanting to look like the cool hipsters of IG.

As a digital native, I’m used to devices, apps, and fancy technologies. But I’m not necessarily comfortable with them. I started shooting film to understand the DSLR camera workings better; now I prefer film cameras for their simplicity. All that information on the LCD monitors makes me nervous.

An old Korean traditional closet matched with the vintage knit top.

It’s easier for me to understand how a film camera works as opposed to a digital one. Like vinyl records that let you see and feel the actual recording, technology that gives that kind of feedback seems easier to grasp and control.

In South Korea, ‘90s American teen movie fashion has become a thing. We wear it to get a taste of life that’s both comforting and unattainable. I think a lot of my peers want to escape from this fatigue era. Maybe that’s the reason why we wear and use old stuff. Those things make us feel like we’re living in a different time and place, even though it’s still 2020 with COVID.