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Is This Shoe Ok? Ancuta Sarca’s Upcycled, Environmentally-Friendly Sneaker Kitten Heels

Welcome to Is This Shoe OK?, an infrequent column about shoes that may or may not be good, as determined by me—an authority, because I own shoes—and you, in the comments below. In today’s installment, we’re looking at an interesting take on upcycled style—designer Ancuta Sarca’s kitten heels, most of which appear to be made out of worn athletic sneakers. Wild and wacky, right?

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Disregarding the fickle weather outside, it is supposed to be fall now. Fall is my shit. It is when I can finally shine—in layers, in coats, in booties. I love fall so much, it is one of the few times a year I pretend to care about fashion and actually make an effort to seek trends to consider maybe one day trying. (I never do, but I love to be informed. That’s how much I like a burnt orange colorway.) My most recent search brought me to a Dazed Digital article about Ancuta Sarca, a Romania-born, London-based designer who has allegedly been “making waves across Instagram” with “her brilliantly bizarre, upcycled take on the divisive, diminutively-heeled style.” Her work is not fall-specific, but it is very interesting. I think I like it. But I’ve been wrong before. Are her shoes okay?

From what I gather, Sarca takes old shoes—brand name sneakers, slides, things of that nature—and transforms them into kitten heels, marrying two contemporary trends while totally bypassing all the gross commerciality. Her work is hand-stitched and sustainable, and as of earlier this month, she’s found a factory in Italy to assist her and “keep everything 100 per cent environmentally conscious,” as she told Dazed.

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I, for one, love a fashionable item that doubles as an environmentally-friendly art object. I love that Sarca is still in the DIY days of her career and is soon going to grow it into something larger but still ethical. (Or so she says. Let’s keep her to it!) I don’t, however, love a kitten heel or a sneaker. I do think her kicks are cute, but I wouldn’t rock them. I think I would buy a pair for a stylish loved one who did, however.

But what do you think? Is this shoe ok?

How about these? The transformation is nuts:

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Drop your outrage or appreciation below. If these aren’t as polarizing as I anticipate them to be, explain why they are... totally fine. Your opinions fuel me.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

Aside from the obvious hideousness of these shoes (which I realize some people will like specifically because of how ridiculously ugly they are), kitten heels are the dumbest of all possible shoes. They’re not high enough to actually make sense for an aesthetic appeal (kitten heels aren’t going to make anyone’s legs look better), but they’re still less comfortable than flats. What is the point of them?