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Three-piece shoes
DECEMBER 12, 2013 05:34  
Marianne Wakerlin in Vermont, the United States learned how to knit from her mother when she was nine years old and made socks with used wool. She developed her hobby into a business, launching the socks company Solmate Socks in 2000. The company used recycled cotton to make socks. Breaking the notion that socks are in matching pairs, mismatched socks by the company became a worldwide hit. The company has an interesting slogan: "Life is too short for matching socks." Those who have been frustrated by a missing sock or one with a hole would nod at the slogan.

LittleMissMatched, which opened in New York in 2003, also won success with selling mismatched socks, gloves and boots for children. The shop sells socks in odd numbers a business tactics aimed at offering children the fun of choosing their socks as they want.

A mismatched fashion style also gains popularity these days in Korea, too. Such a "weird style," which certain people in the show business adopted in the past, has become well-liked. A footwear brand sells shoes by the three-unit package consisting of a pair with an extra right shoe that looks slightly different. Customers can put on a matching pair or a mismatching one as they like. The company is expected to register more than 30 billion won (28.5 million U.S. dollars) in sales this year, soaring from 8 billion won (761,180 dollars) last year.

We are living in an age that respects individuality and creativity. Wearing mismatched socks or shoes is not a mistake but a unique style. Such a business of selling mismatched products is recognized as a marketing strategy of "creative destruction." The so-called asymmetrical design is expanding from fashion to other areas. Hyundai Motor`s Veloster compact sports car has one door on the driver`s side but two on the other side. One`s imaginative power comes alive by turning familiar things upside down and looking at them from different perspectives, paving new ways for businesses. How about making mismatched socks and shoes a dress code for year-end parties? Creation and innovation are not faraway things.

Editorial Writer Koh Mi-seok (mskoh119@donga.com)

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