IF you are into slow fashion, be aware that sustainability and fashion will be the protagonists of this newest post on The Hypothetical Blog. Once again, I will give voice to an unconventional but unique project that showcases how the fashion industry can successfully balance quality, sustainability and aesthetics.
After the latest collaboration between Levis and MIU MIU, it has been made clear that many more luxury fashion labels are attempting to minimise their impact through up-cycling activities and circular economies. However, the path towards a clean and sustainable industry is very long.
Although the process requires time, still, many newly born fashion designers are making their part towards the change and here, it comes the guest of today. Straight from Netherlands, I am so excited to introduce to you Sarah Elise, a very young fashion designer with a creative mind and a strong determination to make the difference in the industry.
Do you want to discover her brave attempt towards a less harmful fashion industry?
IF you want to acknowledge it, keep reading the interview!
Can you please introduce yourself and your amazingly brilliant idea of up-cycling sneakers into shoulder bags?
Of course! Hi! My name is Sarah Elise, I am a 22-year-old fashion designer from the Netherlands and I up-cycle old and discarded sneakers into shoulder bags.
My motivation to start up-cycling slowly emerged over the past years. I worked in the family business (a women’s clothing store), studied Industrial Design and managed my own clothing brand while my eyes were opened towards the pollution of the fashion industry. And even though I’m incredibly interested in the long-term solution to this problem, my hands started itching to do something about it right away. I realised it was not up to me to produce more new clothes, but to use what we already have, to up-cycle. This has been the inspiration for the Sneaker Bags that were created after a one-year process.
There has been a specific person who inspired you for this idea or did it come out naturally?
I was inspired by the amazing designs of Ancuta Sarca, she up-cycles sneakers into kitten heels. The designs were so clever and cool, I immediately started thinking about all the other possibilities old sneakers have to offer.
How the whole process works and how long does it take to make a bag? To make the shoulder bags, do you use your own shoes or you specifically go to vintage stores and buy according to your creative necessities?
I love to keep this process open and creative, therefore there isn’t a strict order that I stick to. Sometimes it starts with me running into an amazing fabric, and finding a matching shoe afterwards, or the other way around.
Other times I have a specific color, type of fabric or print in mind that I would love to include into the collection and I start my way up from there. I do this on- and offline, so at both thrift stores and online secondhand marketplaces, this makes it relatively easy to find. I try to make sure the shoes are authentic and outworn, to be sure that I work with shoes that would have otherwise ended up in the garbage bin. I love to carefully select all those different elements and create a completely different and unique bag time after time. Therefore it can take me up to 8 hours to create a single bag.
Sarah created a beautiful collection of sneaker bags also in 2020 and among them, my favourite ones turned out to be these 5:
Do you think that up-cycling is going to become more present in the fashion industry in the near future?
Yes I definitely think so, it is such a waste from all those materials if we wouldn’t. I think a lot of smaller designers but also larger brands are starting to realise that and incorporate it in their collections, which is wonderful!
You are constantly growing and you have been published in the coolest magazines from Vogue to Dazed, Tame, Elle, Bazaar: how do you feel about these great achievements?
First of all, of course this has been amazing! These are magazines that I have been looking up to for a very long time, so to be featured ~cheesy to say~ is a dream coming true. However, I am very ambitious so in my eyes this has only been the beginning!
You told me that you have been working hard on your spring/summer drop and doing a campaign shooting for it… can you give a sneak peak of it?
Yes it has been so exciting! The first drop of the spring/summer ’21 collection went live on the 24th of May and it includes a lot of colourful sneaker bags that really capture that sunny summer feeling. Some of the bags have already been revealed, but I will show you an overview with the full drop…
IF you are interested in purchasing your first sneaker bag, be aware that Spring/Summer 2021 Collection, which was released on Monday, consists of 8 new Baskuettes with a price range between 200 and 300 euros. IF you are curious to see more about the new collection, here you have it:
What’s next in your career as a designer?
Growing Sarah Elise Studio and keeping on dreaming big! I always set some very ambitious goals for myself and currently they are focused on growing and doing collaborations with other designers and brands, I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
(On The Hypothetical Blog side), we wish you all the best luck for your future projects, hoping you will be able to achieve all your biggest dreams! But, I am sure you will because you are talented, hard-working, motivated and passionated, which is what needed to get on the top!