Ancuta Sarca keeps on blooming with creativity and innovation with her SS24 collection titled “Florii.” The OG blokette took a trip down memory lane and got inspired by early childhood sketches of Romanian flowers, which she grew up surrounded by.
It’s a fusion between the past and the future on multiple levels, upcycling old Nike’s to create blissing kitten heels with the Swoosh peeking out here and there. This season gave us cowboy-style boots in a black and brown faded PVC-like material with a thin stiletto heel, white below-the-knee boots that were padded like a football and a pair of silver pumps featuring four petals on the toe box.
Presenting at London Fashion Week, Sarca transformed the space into a studioscape with white plastic chairs being engulfed by the concrete flooring as if it were quicksand. We caught up with the footwear designer to talk about her new collection, her upcycling methods and her recent collabs.
Hey Ancuta! How does it feel to finally present your SS24 offering at London Fashion Week?
Feels great and exciting. I’ve been working on this new direction since February and I’ve been really looking forward to release
Talk to me a little bit about this collection’s inspiration, as we saw a return to your home country, specifically honing in on its flowers.
The main inspiration for this season were flowers, and challenging myself to use upcycling techniques into creating joyful shapes. My hometown has a really strong aesthetic for traditional costumes and their main motifs are colourful flowers. In my collection I wanted the shoes to bring some sort of joy when you look down at your feet wearing them. It’s been a challenging year and I really wanted to make something that would really bring a smile and joy when making them and when working on the process of creating them.
Being a footwear designer, how do you go about styling your creations for Fashion Week presentations or campaign shoots?
My brand is mainly footwear, but my background is in Womenswear, having studied BA and MA in Womenswear and worked as a Womenswear designer for 4 years before starting my brand, so pattern cutting as well as designing garments it’s in my roots. Footwear design came after that.
For this show I designed the clothes using second-hand t-shirts with graphic illustration, layered with transparent pastel mesh over it. I work very closely with my stylist Anders Soelvsten Thomsen so it’s great to have his eye coordinating the looks for the show.
How long did it take you to make this collection? How long does it usually take you to make one shoe, from sketching to the final product?
I usually start thinking about the next collection as soon as I finish the previous one. So I had the idea in my mind since February, but it takes about six months to develop.
You’re known for repurposing old products and using deadstock fabrics. How did that come into play for this collection?
We had a lot of waste trainer cuts from last season that we kept, and didn’t throw away. They were tiny pieces, big enough to make 2 petals from each piece, so that’s kind of how we’re going to develop them in production- using the sides of the trainers for the signature heels and using the remaining parts for the flowers. I also worked for the first time with a deadstock white car seat material that we made some boots, mules and bags from.
Do you ever get an idea for a shoe and then get stuck if you can’t find the right materials to repurpose? Or do you tend to first look at what deadstock fabrics and materials are available before you start designing?
Oh yes, very often. I gave up on a few ideas over the years but not necessarily due to technical reasons but mostly because of development costs. In the shoe industry, it’s extremely [expensive], so it can be a little bit restrictive sometimes – using the same lasts and heels to keep the costs fair.
In the past year or so, we’ve seen the rise of the blokette trend characterised by merging sportswear elements with ultra-feminine and girly components, which essentially epitomises your sneaker-kitten heels hybrid footwear. What are your thoughts on the trend?
Sportswear and chic it’s definitely in the DNA of my brand and will continue to explore it within different ways. Of course when it becomes too trendy and you see it everywhere it’s losing its value a bit but I think it’s important to notice that and work on how to be a step ahead.
We saw you collaborated with Dion Lee to create footwear for his SS24 show that took place last week at NYFW. Can we expect any more collaborations of the sort from you?
Yes, it was a dream and really fun to work on this collab with Dion and his team. I have collaborated on sunglasses for my SS24 show with A Better Feeling by using their stock adapted to my collection.
Another collaboration with Slam Jam is launching in Milan on September 19 with MFW which I’m really excited for. And more things to come…
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