Helen Kirkum is an Artist and Designer based in East London, concentrating on creating new and innovative footwear forms and constructions. Kirkum is most well known for her 2016 Masters collection ‘Our Public Youth’ pioneering the trend of mismatched components, patchwork and worn aesthetics that have strongly influenced the sneaker industry since then.
Kirkum’s personal body of 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. Her work fuses the process of wearing and making, challenging our visions of materiality and newness, to create something we recognise but which we are not used to seeing.
Helen Kirkum Studio established by Helen Kirkum, offers bespoke handmade sneakers as well as creative design and consultancy services to businesses looking for a unique and forward thinking perspective on footwear. The Studio has created footwear for Paris and London fashion weeks, for Takashi Murakami’s Sneakers for Breakfast Complex Con exhibit, Timberlands Construct 10061 creative project, amongst others. Helen Kirkum Studio also provides design concepts and development, consultation as well as production development assistance to a range of clients looking to expand their brand or set up a footwear category.