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Take Five with Sneaker Designer and Sculptor Helen Kirkum

Helen Kirkum Studio creates bespoke handmade sneakers by reworking discarded components.

Helen Kirkum Studio creates bespoke handmade sneakers by reworking discarded components. Embracing worn and handmade aesthetics creating unique collaged pieces. Helen Kirkum is an Artist and Designer based in East London. Kirkum’s work embodies hacking and reworking of discarded and recycled sneakers, the craftsmanship of handmade footwear, and the emphasis of human agency and stories, creating wearable couture collages from discarded sneakers. Kirkum is a pioneer of the hacking, reworn and patchwork aesthetic within the sneaker Industry.

Where are you from?

What’s your go-to sneaker?
Right now I am wearing my Stepney Workers Club Dellow all the time

What's the last book you read?
Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

What’s your idea of a perfect sneaker?
One you already own 😉

How does a perfect pair of sneakers make you feel?
It makes you feel connected to something, it has a story and is full of memories.

What are you inspired by?
Everyday happenings and process. The notions of wearing and making.

If you could collab with any brand and design your own shoe, which would you choose?
My Converse were my favourite childhood shoe, so I always think if that ever happened that would be a super meaningful collaboration for me.

What about Common Ace is exciting to you?
Its elevating the voice of female designers and creating a space for all these designs to live together.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Trust yourself and listen to your gut, be confident in your ideas and your worth, and you can only do what you think is right at the time. 



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