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In blending motifs from traditional Korean footwear—the slightly asymmetric upturned toe of hwahye, the island platform soles of namaksin clogs—with Western styles and materials, Flat Apartment is a shining representative of not only the burgeoning domestic Korean fashion scene, but also the highly sophisticated sensibilities of a fresh generation of outward-looking designers who find themselves penetrating into the highest echelons of a receptive global audience. In 2010, founders Seo Kyunghee and Yie Kwangsub were part of an opening wave that utilized the know-how of the small-scale footwear manufacturers clustered in Seoul’s Seongsu-dong neighborhood to bring their concepts to market. Now, Flat Apartment’s dazzling array of shapes and make-ups reliably appear in editorials and boutiques worldwide. An emphasis is placed on comfort and support, with all styles housed on flat soles or stacked platform heels. Fully split vamps, Mary Jane straps, and jaunty square toes form a mere sliver of the vibrant array of detailing on offer.
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