I think part of that problem is being so focused on mathematics and sciences, they have been able to flourish within the realms of the creative processes such as fashion. Fashion is often based on function and culture. What is acceptable to one culture, is not necessarily welcomed in others.
For example this "Sex and the City" boutique, and obvious attempt to piggyback off of the wildly popular HBO series and movie. However, in conservative Daegu, this just doesn't seem to work. The fashions are oddly conservative and don't match the name. Also, I just didn't see a pair of shoes that the main character, 'Carrie Bradshaw' would have been caught in a subway in. Hence, the name doesn't work for the Koreans and the styles don't work for tourists. A death in the making.
As I made the rounds, I did notice as far as shoes were concerned, you found very little in the way of sandals, or shoes that exposed a lot of 'toe cleavage'. This could be because a lot of taking our shoes on and off here...at homes, some places of work, and in traditional eating establishments...just to slide our feet into some slippers.
For women, this is what you mainly will see in Korea. Pumps and more pumps. Yes, we know we do know though there are never enough in our wardrobes (for us shoe whores), but for the most part...I kept feeling I needed to see something new and exciting, even perhaps outrageous.