Kay Unger


I love the designs of Kay Unger. Suits my personal taste perfectly.

Recently I spotted the Kay Unger New York store right here in the heart of Itaewon in Seoul, South Korea. How I have not seen that shop before, I don’t know.

It probably is because the shop right next door blinds the eye with their own version of hand-tailored “evening wear” – a lot of glitter and sequence on display outside their shop…..on the sidewalk  – tells you a little bit, doesn’t it ?!

I just had a very unfortunate eperience since I first stepped through the door of the local Kay Unger shop…and a few people know about it …..but it had a happy ending, which I haven’t told many. So I want to tell you about it, because I think it is good to share not only the bad, but also the good.

After my experience, I think this particular shop and Kay Unger deserves the names and status they carry and I want you to keep both designer and store in high esteem.

Here is my story:

I spotted a dress in the window…walked in…turned out to be “not my size” – a VERY COMMON problem in Korea ! People are stick-thin and foreigners tend to have lots of difficulty buying clothes here. Very different body shapes in general. Fact.

But all the dresses in the store were oh, so beautiful. I very soon found another perfect fitting dress – in my size. Unbelievable !

The ladies in the store asked me where I was planning to wear the dress. They very politely told me that this particular dress was already going to that event. I was impressed ! They keep tabs on where every dress goes so that you won’t be buying for a specific gala event and then end up having to avoid one part of the room where your dress is also roaming around. That certainly was a big plus for me at this store – Seoul’s expat community is not all that big and they were in touch with their market and people’s emotions. Well done !


On to the next dress – a very unusual dress for me – since I tend to stick to the more traditional colours…but hey – I had just done a pedicure in bright summer colours so I was in the mood for something bright and cheerful !  I liked it instantly, but it was too long. As part of their service, they offer alterations of any dress bought in store, for free. Another well done ! I liked that.

We carefully measured…but I was so afraid to have the dress cut, that I said I would first go on my trip scheduled the next few days and then come back with the right shoes so we can make 100% sure before cutting – see, this dress don’t get a seam, it gets CUT OFF. Since I am very short, and the magic of this dress is its’ “long” look – I wanted to preserve every inch of that elegance.

I even said that I prefer it being a little “too” long to not take away the effect even if it meant I had to lift the dress a little when walking.

I went back a week later. We measured again….and again…and again…. and the lady took ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD for this ! I was very happy and impressed with their attention and time granted to me as a customer.

Day before the gala event.. I went back to pick up my dress.

DISASTER !!!!!!!!

The dress was CUT OFF – way above my feet in the front, perfect in the back….. but the two sides not equal and the lining of the dress coming out under the scew, shortened fabric. Hard to tell from the picture but still..


I had NO words. That is very unusual for me.

The two ladies who experienced the “lengthy” (literally)  measuring process and my concerns which I uttered 5 times before we finally agreed on a “length” were mortified. The gala event was the next day… and I had already paid for this dress ! A lot.

Me – the usual – “I will try to make the situation good even if it was not my fault” – was in NO MOOD to do that. I had paid, I have warned, I was worried and I was in need but I was NOT going to take a beautiful designer dress ruined  by someone else !

A very long conversation in Korean erupted over the phone between the shop and the alteration studio.

I was so ticked off about it that I tweeted straight away while waiting for this 20 minute conversation over the phone of which I could not understand a word, but totally caught the drift ! I don’t really tweet for an audience, but I tweet when I have nothing else to do with my thoughts but to utter it out there in space…

By the time the lady had put down the phone, I told them that I would not take the dress and they immediately agreed to take it back. They did not try to convince me of taking the spoilt dress and that was another “well done ” for that particular shop. They did not argue the point that their shop caused this and they totally accepted responsibility.

But I was in a predicament and they knew it !  Even though they could have left it right there – having agreed to take back the dress and return my money, they knew that they had now put me in a position of no dress for the event. I could have come up with another, but I loved this dress so much  that I was really dissappointed !

Without me asking, they told me that the tailor still had the fabric she had cut off. So, they offered to put it back on and stitch it onto the lining. They would try their best to fix it and I can still return the dress, but that I would have it for at least that evening. Deal.

I picked up the dress the next day – 2 hours before the event and nobody really noticed. I knew, but that was okay.

I can not tell you how surprised I was to get a tweet back directly to me from KAY UNGER (or her staff?) all the way from New York, taking great interest into my situation and trying to help solve the issue. THAT has gone miles and done wonders if you ask me how I feel know about buying another Kay Unger dress !

I did feel kind of sad and bad to return the dress on the Monday, having worn it already…but we had a deal and after careful consideration I decided to stick to it.

This story had a happy ending. I hope that you will keep  on supporting the shop in Itaewon – the lovely ladies there were very professional, friendly and understanding. And I hope you will next time be inspired to be the Kay Unger dress knowing that she is a designer who cares !

I watched this video before this whole episode one day when I wanted to see who Kay Unger was!

So, in case you don’t know – meet her in this short clip. She is lovely. And so are her dresses.

And for more tid bits on Kay Unger you can also a read this post at Saratoga Trunk. or visit the official KAY UNGER website.

Have a lovely weekend everyone !



1 Response to Kay Unger

  • Sabine says:

    Want to see a picture of you in the dress! Lovely colors! And yes, great service that makes you want to come back, truly customer focussed brand management! Loving the layout of your new website! Have a great summer and keep us posted!

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    Makes me happy that you got this far down on my blog ! See some older posts in the Archives or by clicking back.

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