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Ancuta Sarca and Mashulka's empowering designs

Slam Jam celebrates the two artists at the opening of the womenswear section of the Milan store

Ancuta Sarca and Mashulka's empowering designs  Slam Jam celebrates the two artists at the opening of the womenswear section of the Milan store

To celebrate the launch of Slam Jam's first Womenswear section, the flagship store in Via Lanza hosted two independent artists on the crest of the fashion and art industry, shoe designer Ancuta Sarca, world famous for her up-cycled trainers made chic by stiletto heels and garish colours, and the artist Mashulka, author of works that infuse ordinary objects such as chairs and ashtrays into hyper-feminine posters, dealing with wigs, fake nails, and everything that is part of the beauty industry. A few hours before the official opening, we met the designer and the artist at Slam Jam. 

Mashulka's work is taking shape in one of the store's rooms, traditional looking chairs that will become works of art within the hour. The artist is cutting the hair of one of her chairs, intertwining the strands, choosing the positioning of each with obvious concentration. «I just love doing it. I see so much furniture next to the bin, it's good furniture,» Mashulka explains about her choice of materials. «I mean, sometimes it's just so simple but it's perfect for making something cool. I feel I need to save the pieces and give it a second life.» The fantasy world Mashulka creates begins in the ordinariness of a living room table, a rug, or a mirror, transforming these objects through the colours and elements of the contemporary beauty industry. «My first collection was inspired by my own style, I really love to work with hair extensions and nails,» says the artist. An interweaving of passions that touches on her Russian origins and her fascination with the world of make-up, Mashulka's works are out of the ordinary, yet they all deal with timely issues. Through a fearless striking use of colour, from purple to pink and electric blue, and a strong propensity for a grotesque effect, Mashulka's art sheds a new light on the objects people who like to beautify themselves have to deal with on a daily basis, inciting reflection. How does appearance change our perception of things?


Like Maschulka's works, Ancuta Sarca creates her trainers using deadstock materials, building glamorous aesthetics on sneakers. To celebrate the launch of Slam Jam's first Womenswear section, which includes emerging and independent designers, niche but all internationally recognised in the fashion scene, Slam Jam asked Ancuta Sarca to revisit their collaboration with Nike. «We worked with their existing Nike trainers,»  the designer explained about the total black kitten heels that now occupy the store's shelves. «So they had a lot of that stuff which we took and remade into heels. It was a lot of deconstructing and reconstructing, we adapted them to my shapes, I think they're really chic and cute.» Ancuta Sarca's designs have toured the world on the feet of some of the most famous stars, including Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid, and this summer the designer has had a busy calendar. From her collaboration with Dion Lee to the launch of her new SS24 line at London Fashion Week, her life is a succession of commercial and artistic successes. Her new clothing and footwear collection takes inspiration from her childhood in Romania. Faced with Sarca's triumph of colours, unusual silhouettes, eye-catching graphics and avant-garde designs, one naturally wonders what her child-self would think of her work. «My child self would never believe this in a million years. But she would absolutely love the designs and wear them everyday.»

Mashulka and Sarca's artistic innovation passes through their personal experiences, winding its way through projects that explore the limits of contemporary digitisation, and ultimately reducing to a study of the female self. In the spaces of Slam Jam, their work is a testament of admiration towards a pink approach to a traditionally male - and macho - world, kicked off from the desire of both artists to raise awareness on the self-affirmation of all those who find themselves to be hopeless romantics. As Sarca explains, their art aims to «give power, boldness and confidence.»