Seoul’s footwear revolution has started with three groundbreaking ambitious designers that created their own labels in 2010. Reike Nen is one of them, starting a new chapter of modern shoe design in Korea. The brand’s showroom, hidden on a tiny black road in a highly residential section of Seongsu, displays rows of white patent leather boots and black alpaca fur-trimmed mules, designed by the founder Rei Yoon Hongmi. Prior to her shoe label, Rei was making clothes however everything changed when she got inspired by ivory pumps with a thick heel and white ankle ribbon in Helmut Lang’s Spring 2005 show.

The designer wanted to create a brand of unique, comfortable and feminine shoes for daily life that did not exist in Korea at that time. Through her rich exploration of the daily lifestyle, Rei has created a set of shoe design codes that feels distinctly Korean. Above all, Reike Nen shoes boast incredible comfort, being a essential trait in Korean culture. Aside of the emphasis on comfort, the pairs are conceptually complex. For Spring 2018, Rei was inspired by faded photographs of American men in wide-sleeved garments with fitted waists. “How can we take volume, but make it minimal?” she asks. “You see those shapes on a lot of clothes now, but I wanted to transfer it to shoes.” 

Reike Nen is unlike other brands on the market at the moment and it caught the attention of the most fashion forward influencers such as @double3xposure and our’s of course. Their unique brand identity and design is what it makes them so remarkable. 

Here are some of our favourite pieces:

Credit: Reike Men