What is newtro?

Jiyeon Choi

Newtro is a new word combined of ‘new’ and ‘retro’ which means a new tendency or trend of enjoying retro. Newtro targets generation Z by appealing freshness and uniqueness in retro and at the same time it also influences middle aged generation making them nostalgic such as the film of the British rock band Queen ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Generation Z pursue variety seeking for individuality and diversity so retro culture, which they have never experienced directly, comes attractive to them.

In the Korean market Newtro, which is a reinterpretation of vintage and retro design styles, can be easily seen in fashion, products, interiors, food and even in the music industry. Many productions in Korea are about recreation of old songs and movies or old times, foods are serviced in old fashioned design plates and interiors seem old school. Some might think Newtro can be out of date but since Newtro alternates retro based on nowadays trend it is not considered old-fashioned to consumers. These are some of the examples :

With the trend of Newtro, industries such as film cameras, antique shops, used bookstore that were considered outdated are rising among generation Z. You can easily see Newtro trend in Seoul, Euljiro(을지로) with various Newtro cafes, restaurants, pubs and even used bookstore street. I believe this trend will help us communicate with other generations and hope it will be the foundation for us to reunite. By taking a step away from digitally centered life at present give yourself a chance to miss and visit past trends, styles, and culture.

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