Can’t pick between a pair of sneakers or kitten heels? Ancuta Sarca lets you put the two together with her signature upcycling technique.
You’ll have seen her designs before as she’s been all over social networks and international fashion media for a few years. Romanian Ancuta Sarca studied at the Art and Design University of Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania. She graduated in 2015 and moved to London when she was 28 to start her career working for the British brand Ashish.
At the same time, her interest in circular design and climate change fuelled her to innovate. Nike sneakers may have long been integral to menswear but Ancuta soon decided to work her magic and give her beloved style a feminine twist. She used a mountain of vintage trainers to turn them into kitten heels (3.5cm heels popular in the 50s).
The shoe addict and sustainable fashion community spotted her and the designs encouraged her to take it further. “I have got hundreds of messages from people wanting to buy the shoes and thousands of new followers on social media. I’ve also got good feedback from press, stylists, photographers and celebrities wanting to use the shoes,” she told the prestigious Forbes last year. Her popularity saw her create her own brand and join Fashion East, the acclaimed mentorship scheme (whose alumni include JW Anderson and Craig Green).
Ancuta Sarca appeared at London Fashion Week SS20 and has since attracted a long list of luxury retailers including the London concept store LN-CC. The swoosh brand has also given her the chance to use its unsold stock to complete her collections. There’s no doubt that her ethics and eccentric designs will lead to a long and successful career when “one of the most conscious things I could do as a designer is use what is already out there, not produce more and more. ”