Another member of the Footshop Upcycling project is none other than designer Evžen Grygoriev. Originally from Ukraine, he moved to his family in Ostrava as a child. Evžen’s 21 and in his second year of studying at Baťa’s university in Zlín. He was introduced to the world of fashion by his older brother, whose hobby was also making shoes.
“There’s no victory without sacrifices, and I know that from my own experience. You also can’t progress further without practice and knowledge of your specialization.” admits up-and-coming designer Evžen Grygoriev.
Evžen, how would you describe your style?
That’s hard to say, I focus more on streetwear, as you can see from my work. I try to keep it simple and combine older trends with new ones.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Often in Japanese culture, but for the most part, I try to think for myself and create things that are in my head.
What do you plan to do with the returned shoes and what’s your selection process?
I started studying shoe design with one goal in mind, to make shoes. The same with upcycling, where you take basically unwearable shoes and transform them into something wearable, while kind of upgrading them at the same time. Apart from shoes I also work with interior accessories and clothing. As far as sneakers are concerned, I first choose the ones I know I’ll definitely use, put them aside and work on them individually. Then I pick shoes with interesting materials or other elements, disassemble them and then combine them with the first category.
What’s your creative process?
Everything takes place in my room, which is also my workshop, as I have all the materials and tools there. I focus on altering and upgrading shoes that would otherwise go in the trash. In the end, I widened my field of work and also work with other things than just sneakers. There’s more to look forward to.
You skateboard in your free time, does this reflect on your work? And do you have any higher ambitions in skateboarding?
Yes, it does. I often look at it from the perspective of a skater, if the shoes would be good for skating. Occasionally even shoes for skating aren’t as durable as they should be, so I try to think how I could upgrade them. Although I have a sponsor, I mainly do it for fun – but of course, I want to move forward and keep working on myself.
Do you have something you want to accomplish in the future?
I definitely want to start something of my own, and most importantly, keep doing the things I enjoy doing, making people happy through shoes.