So, according to the Kyunghyang Shinmun, well-known hanbok designer Lee Hye-sun went to the Shilla Hotel’s buffet restaurant Tuesday evening for a dinner appointment.
The staff, however, didn’t let her in. You see, they explained, our restaurant has a dress code, and the hanbok isn’t allowed. When asked why, they said the hanbok is dangerous — because it’s got a good deal of volume, it could disturb other people.
So, Lee left the place and headed home, but on the way, she called up the hotel again to reconfirm the dress code. Sure enough, the hotel responded it doesn’t let in people wearing hanbok or gym clothes.
Lee responded as any of us would — be posting it on the Twitter news site Wikitree. Needless to say, the netizens were not amused, and that very evening, the hotel said it would begin letting the hanbok-clad into their restaurants. Lee, though, asked Wednesday morning why anyone would push the globalization of Korean food when the hotel’s Korean restaurant has been shut down, hanbok-wearing people are being turned away at the door and the hanbok is being treated like a gym suit. Until the hotel’s CEO went on record with the hotel’s official policy, she would not believe what the hotel says.
The president of the Shilla is, of course, Lee Boo-jin, the eldest daughter of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee. In fact, according to the Kyunghyang, Lee celebrated his 70th birthday at the hotel in January in an event in which his wife did wear a hanbok.