© SJ Group / Photography: studio gothic

It’s undeniable that Pan Am – short for Pan American World Airways – is one of the most iconic aviation companies in world history. Founded in 1927, Pan Am emerged as a leading global carrier in the 1950s to 1970s, connecting its main hub New York City and a number of secondary hubs, such as Miami, London, Berlin and Tokyo, to a large number of destinations across five continents. Add to that the fact that Pan Am was the first airline to introduce both the Boeing 707 and Boeing 747 jet liners, and it’s easy to see why its iconic status, despite that the company ceased its operations in the early 1990s, has persisted to this very day. Fast forward to 2022, and Pan Am makes a glorious return, albeit not as an airline. No, it’s now a fashion and lifestyle brand based in South Korea.

Seoul-based fashion company SJ Group, manufacturer of global brands such as Kangol and Boody, snapped up a licence to create a wide range of Pan Am merchandise, ranging from apparel and accessories, to home products and lifestyle items that target the country’s savvy Millennial and Gen Z demographics. Following the opening of branded shop-in-shops nationwide, a standalone flagship store has opened its doors in Seongsu, an emerging shopping district in the sprawling South Korean capital. Designed by Niiiz Design Lab, the Pan Am stores occupies a 330 sqm. (3,552 sq.ft.) on the ground floor of a generic, four-storey industrial building and sees an interior design created by SJ Group‘s design team. Entirely redeveloped, the structure now sees a blind façade on street level and a tube tunnel entrance in a bright blue shade.

Inside, the renowned Pan Am logo, an updated design from 1971 by graphic designers Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, beckons in the distance. The store’s interior design, inspired by the blue and white livery of Pan Am airplanes, takes full advantage of the building’s raw concrete shell. A large part of the floor is overlaid by a grid of steel and glass, and the premises see scaffolding-inspired settings with a variety of matching metal furnishings. One side of the store is lined with an elongated sales and display desk of concrete blocks, resembling an airport check-in counter, and a backdrop of large potholes. In the middle of the retail space shoppers can sit back and relax in between shopping sprees while indulging in specially created Pan Am ice cream concoctions by noscoop.

The new Pan Am store features the brand’s men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and bags across three lines—first comes Clipper, featuring a range of contemporary leisure clothing that takes cues from the airline’s heritage. The Journey line pairs the sportswear aesthetic with functionality and includes items which are either waterproof, windproof, antibacterial of offer thermal insulation. Last but not least, Life is an urban casual line for everyday use. Additionally, the store stocks collab items and a curated selection of products by other brands and also artists, including 1064 Studio, RAWROW, tuff, playmoby and Nuri Yeon. Mind you, the aforementioned bunch are just the initial collaborators, so expect more to revelations to come in the near future.

Pan Am
89 Yeonmujan-gil (Seongsu)
04783 Seoul
Telephone: +82 2 34335508
Daily 11am-8pm

© SJ Group / Photography: studio gothic