WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The London-based designer is known for transforming old sneakers into kitten heels and boots.
In our current drop and sneaker-obsessed world, the amount of old, unwanted sneakers left unused or in recycling bins is inevitable.
The Romanian-born, London-based designer Ancuta Sarca has a solution: Upcycling.
Seeing the amount of old Nike sneakers in her own closet, Sarca decided to give the shoes a new lease of life by tearing them apart and piecing them back together in new, reimagined forms ranging from kitten heels to cool block-heel boots.
The result is nothing like you’ve seen before. Think pointed-toe mules in electric blue or red shades with a mesh lace-up panel at the front or a Nike swoosh on the side, taken from an old pair of sneakers – or the body of a sneaker transformed with a more traditional block heel and square-toe leather front.
The shoes are also limited-edition and sustainable, as they’re made from upcycled fabrics which are available in small quantities and would have otherwise gone to waste.
For Sarca, who has experience designing for some of London’s most avant-garde names like Meadham Kirchoff and Ashish, this was “the most personal” project she ever worked on and it paid off. Her mission has been embraced by the fashion world, with Fashion East – one of London’s best known platforms for supporting young talent – launching the label at London Fashion Week and cult boutiques like LN-CC stocking the collection.
Most recently, Sarca’s upcycled creations were spotlighted as part of Selfridges’ Project Earth, to encourage consumers to make more conscious choices when they shop.
As the world tries to move towards a more sustainable future, Sarca’s products, which blend responsibility with the right dose of humor and design credentials, are bound to keep gaining relevance.
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