Helen Kirkum

(United Kingdom)

Royal College of Art, London, Footwear MA 2016  |  University of Northampton, Fashion, Footwear & Accessories, BA (Hons) 2014


Winner of both the Accessories Award and the Vogue Talents Award at International Talent Support (ITS) 2016



Graduation collection:



Helen Kirkum’s graduation project is a meta-modern interpretation of our current landscape, our connections between intensified commerce and social identity. Looking at ways in which we interact with ‘planned obsolescence’ in trend driven societies, Helen Kirkum built her shoes from old sneakers collected from recycling centres. Selecting only odd trainers that cannot be reused, she carefully unpicked everything down to each single component piece. Through the process of making, physically hacking and re-mastering discarded sneaker components the shoes become a collage of loyalties and memories. The process emphasises the hand of the maker and beauty of craft, lost in the otherworldliness of sneaker manufacture.