Polish born Berlin-based designer Maria Antonina Kopytko is on a mission to reinvent the shoe.
The 23-year-old uses traditional craft techniques to create the main components of her footwear, but her elaborate heel designs are made possible thanks to 3D printing.
The designer experiments with materials such as metals, thermoplastic, faux and natural deadstock leather pieces, and foams, as well as new technologies like lasers and 3D printing.
Every shoe is made by hand: a process which she reveals step-by-step on her Instagram.
The artist says she was destined for shoe making because her last name, Kopytko, translates as “shoe last” in Polish, referring to the wooden foot-shaped model used by shoemakers and cordwainers in manufacture and repair. “I work much like a researcher. For me, the shoe is both a futuristic, modern form of sculpture, and a daily functional item,” she told The Calvert Journal.
For Liquid Body, her graduation collection made at Academy of Arts in Szczecin, the designer took inspiration from pole dancing, British pop artist Allen Jones, and English singer-songwriter FKA twigs. Given the labour-intensive process behind each shoe, Kopytko’s graduate collection is not yet available for purchase but she plans to release a commercial collection in the upcoming future.