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  • HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

Meet Innovative Footwear Designer Helen Kirkum

by Sara Khan

HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

We have searched far and wide to find some of the most interesting and hidden craft makers in the UK. From footwear designers to craftivists and more; we will take you behind the scenes to experience a day in their lives as part of our new series What’s Your Craft.

Today we launch Episode 5 with footwear designer Helen Kirkum who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2016 exhibiting her graduate collection at International Talent Support, where she won both the Accessories award and the Vogue Talents Award. Helen has caught all the right eyes with her footwear made from pieces of recycled trainers investigating the extremities of structure and texture.

In the sports footwear world where everyone is trying to add a spin on existing silhouettes to make the cheapest product, Helen went the other way, creating what appeared to be patchwork trainers that bridged the shoe world with the trainer world. Her collections are often made using trainers collected from recycling centres in London and aim to tell the story of the footwear by creating a different version of newness.  Helen’s work is a spontaneous reaction to society, conceptualising our connections with commerce and materiality through textures, graphics and silhouette.

Helen has worked with a number of brands including Adidas, Timberland, and most recently created Takashi Murakami inspired trainers for ComplexCon in California, USA.

HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

HELEN KIRKUM. PHOTO WILLIAM SCOTHERN

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