Fragrant clothes smell of success
Koreans inhaling the latest apparel 'innovations'
Kwon had the last laugh. Suits with Kwon's "added functions" accounted for about 25 percent of the $40 million in sales revenue earned last year by the men's-suit division he manages.
In the United States, some specialty shops import such computer wear as electromagnetic shielding ties and vests. In Korea, these items are becoming regular department-store fare.
On a recent Sunday at Lotte department store, in central Seoul, Joung Hea Souk flipped through a rack of Rogatis energy suits when the salesman swooped in. "Look at this, these aren't ordinary pieces of cloth," said Jun Yong Soo, the clerk, turning the suit inside out. "They have charcoal and jade to absorb sweat and odor in the armpits and crotch."
"What?" asked Joung, rearing back. Then he moved in for a closer look. Moments later, he was on his way to the cashier.
While both Cheil and Kolon highlight the properties of their fanciful fabrics, they avoid making specific health claims. Indeed, in the case of Chang's infrared-emitting shorts, any nearby object might do as much for his circulation. Far-infrared radiation is generated by any object above zero degrees Kelvin (minus-459 degrees Fahrenheit). The human body, at a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees, itself emits waves that fall into the far-infrared spectrum. So anything warmed by the body like a chair will emit far-infrared waves as well.
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