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The designer turning old Nikes into new slingbacks

Ancuta Sarca's hybrid silhouettes are the coolest example of DIY

The designer turning old Nikes into new slingbacks Ancuta Sarca's hybrid silhouettes are the coolest example of DIY

Remember this name: Ancuta Sarca.

She is the mind behind the most Instagrammed shoes of the moment: an interesting mash-up between sneaker and kitten heel. The Romanian designer, but Londoner by adoption, had the idea of combining these two apparently contrasting moods during a moving. Packing her things, the young woman realized that she had many worn-out shoes or shoes that were too old to be worn again, but instead of throwing them away, she decided to give them a second life. So Ancuta, armed with a DIY spirit, used her studies in fashion womenswear and menswear and the years spent working for Meadham Kirchhoff and Ashish to combine the upper of her Nike with the typical retro look of kitten heels and the strap that features slingback's back. The result is an eye-catching sandal with an elongated, pointed silhouette that is very popular online. 

The interest in her models is perhaps in the union between male and female elements, as the creative emphasizes, also explaining her love for Nike:

What was so appealing to me was the idea of feminising sneakers. It’s sportswear but not really. I wanted to place to trainers in a different landscape and giving them a completely new function – elegant and feminine by pushing the boundaries of what they can become. I always loved the aesthetics [of Nike], it has a huge role in sportswear history and the logo looks rather funny and unexpected on heels.

Another secret of interest in Ancuta's work is definitely the DIY effect. In a period when all fashion brands (and not only) are wondering how to improve their attention to the sustainability of their products, recycling in a creative way something destined to become rubbish seems a smart idea. A small gesture that, if practised by many, could have a real impact both on the eco-system and on the evolution of the industry. The designer is aware of this:

In our era, when unfortunately fashion is one of the most polluting industries, I think one of the most conscious things I could do as a designer is using what is already out there, not by producing more and more.

In addition, DIY is often synonymous with uniqueness and this, in a society that prefers copies and clones, has an almost irresistible appeal.