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London Fashion Week presents Helen Kirkum SS24

Written by Iso Neville, contributing fashion writer & second-hand stylist

London Fashion Week is theatre. It’s spectacular, grand, daring; it’s a performance. Helen Kirkum’s SS24 presentation broke that spell, magically. Designer Helen Kirkum graduated from London’s Royal College of Art in 2016, and has since led a reimagining of the footwear industry, reusing fabric waste as her primary material.

Where previous collections have focused solely on shoes, this offering felt markedly different. Rooted in the mundanity of everyday life, attendees were welcomed into a home environment where Helen Kirkum’s signature sneaker offcuts were eponymously ‘Cobbled Together’. Whether flattened and framed or worn by a quartet of models, the intention was clear - to show how these once unwanted materials can be loved and lived in again.

This collection gave a glimpse into the brand’s forays into accessories and homeware. After the success of their upcycled trainers, this expansion is an exciting development in the brand’s identity. Helen chose to invite other designers with the same environmental mission to showcase their furniture and apparel pieces - a reminder that reusing and repurposing is a collective effort that starts with community.

What to expect from Helen Kirkum this season? More textures - her trademark. Think collage, braiding and weaving, using every possible element of the trainer. Our favourite? The dramatic black chandelier created entirely from discarded shoelaces.

Fashion doesn’t just exist within Fashion Week, nor does the industry’s crisis of overproduction. Helen Kirkum reminded us that both exist in the real world.

Would you like to wear a piece of Helen Kirkum’s genius design? You can send pairs of your lived in sneakers and they will be deconstructed and reconstructed into a bespoke pair of shoes - a pair like no other. If you’d like to learn how to design sneakers by repurposing discarded materials, the brand runs an on-demand DIY course you can sign up to on the website.

Photos Iso Neville


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