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Follow Friday: @ugo_paulon

11th June 2021

WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI

Meet the new London shoe label to know – and its mystery founder –  making strides for their sustainable approach and all things bold and statement. 

ugo paulon

Ugo Paulon’s repurposed puffy sandals are one of a kind. Image via @ugo_paulon

ugo paulon

@_selasi_ wears a unique pair.

For anyone on the lookout for one-of-a-kind shoes, Ugo Pulon is the new name to know and follow. 

The label is less than a year old and created in the designer’s studio-cum-bedroom during lockdown, but it’s already making strides in the shoe world for its sustainable approach and flair for all things statement. 

Ugo Pulon shoes are made entirely from upcycled, non-virgin materials: The designer sources vintage shoes on platforms like Ebay and then gives them a new lease of life by adding recycled foam padding and deadstock fabrics which are then hand-dyed and printed. 

The result is a series of funky, attention grabbing mules and lace-up sandals featuring puffy panels or straps and hand-drawn psychedelic patterns. The element of hand craft also means that no shoe is the same – there’s even unique elements and slight differences between left and right shoes of the same pair.

The idea here is to let go of our constant quest for perfection and all things sleek or symmetrical. 

The designer behind the label also makes a point to keep her identity anonymous. The brand’s name is a merge of the usernames of the first Ebay sellers she started sourcing vintage shoes from while her own name will remain a mystery for the time being, in order to keep the focus on the shoes and the end-client – a refreshing take during the era of big personalities and Instagram-famous designers. 

What we do know is that the creative mind behind these innovative shoes is a Danish woman who is based in East London and has cut her teeth in the fashion industry working across the women’s wear sector. Seeing the amount of waste the traditional system creates, she wanted to offer an alternative with a shoe brand that uses what’s already out there and helps prolong materials’ and shoes’ lives. 

This is an approach that feels especially relevant this year, as the industry finally comes to terms with its waste issues and the urgent need to become more sustainable. That’s why Berling brand Ottolinger has already tapped Ugo Pulon for its latest fall 2021 campaign and buzzy London boutique LN-CC picked up the shoes too. 

You can also shop online on the label’s own ecommerce site, with prices ranging from 380 to 450 pounds.