International Design Competition Footwear Winner 2022 : Anna Melegh
21st September 2022
The results are in – this year’s International Competition’s Footwear Category Winner is the talented Anna Melegh, with her entry Haute Couture Trash.
Anna will be joining the other 3 Category Winners at the live International Final event on November 2, presenting her design in front of the judges for the chance to become the Overall Winner.
Anna Melegh is a footwear and accessories designer turning everyday objects inside out by using the methods of surrealism. Anna comes from an artistic family and has nearly 10 years of art and shoe-focused education. All started at the Secondary School of Visual Arts in Budapest, where she learned to be a leather goods maker. She finished the BA Footwear and Accessories course in Northampton and completed the MA Footwear at London College of Fashion in 2022.
“I think we should dare to think more outside of the box, in terms of designs and ideas as well as materials. I believe fashion has the power to raise awareness of the various issues, make the viewer stop and think – just like any other art.”
INTERVIEW WITH ANNA MELEGH
Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:
The idea of the Haute Couture Trash collection came when we were all in lockdown, and I used to make shoes out of our household waste. The lack of studios and the method I used to make these mock-ups initially influenced the outcome of the boots. I started to question why things that should last do not and those which should not, actually do.
Could I go ahead a few steps and create a collection based on these items but using high-quality materials? Could it be a bin bag turned into a fashion piece?
I became a one-person factory to go against how these everyday items were made – mastering working with wood, leather, screen printing, and animating. I wan
ted to surprise the viewer by using trompel’œil, juxtaposition, disdaining rationalism, scale changing, metamorphosis, and the assemblages of ordinary objects. I’m using shoes as a language of critique, reacting to consumerism.
What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?
I love working with leather as I think it’s the best material for footwear. I used a last shape for my boots which is very pointy as well as has a bump on the toe. Just amazing how the leather took the shape smoothly and didn’t distort my print at the same time.
This was the first time I did a large-scale screen printing on leather so I was a bit nervous how the leather will react but all turned out well!
How do you think winning this competition will impact your career as a designer?
Hopefully, more people will see my work! Winning this competition is encouraging to continue making footwear. I would like to focus on using leather offcuts from factories and combining them into wearable products.
What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?
I think there is a misconception about the origin of the skins used in the leather industry. If I know well, more than 95% of all leather produced is the by-product of the meat industry. So making leather is basically waste! This should be much more highlighted as leather is a bio-degradable material, long-lasting and easy to maintain as opposed to plastic, which is highly polluting from start. From a footwear point of view, I think leather should replace plastic in sneakers as these are today the most popular footwear types yet mainly made out of plastic.