Sleek pointed high heels are getting rare on the streets and the runway, being replaced by sandals with platforms or slip-ons as dressing down becomes a new watchword in fashion.
The trend is even more noticeable abroad. Models in the high fashion shows of Celine, Giambattista Valli, and Givenchy walked down the runway in flat shoes or trainers even as they showcased luxury suits or evening gowns.
Fashion designer Hong Hye-jin said, "Leisure activities like yachting, surfing and camping increasingly influence fashion trends, so the popularity of high heels is declining."
Dressing up too much is no longer thought stylish.
"In the past, looking perfect from top to bottom was regarded as virtue, but now people value breathing space and a bit of a personal touch," fashion designer Bae Seung-yeon said. "Wearing formal wear casually and vice versa just looks more stylish."
Hong added, "Dressing down is the keyword these days. People think it's cool to look somewhat scruffy and imperfect."