Monika lives in Olomouc, but she spends a lot of time travelling between Prague and Zlín. She first got into upcycling three years ago, when she used to go dumpster diving at Zlín’s factories with her friend. Currently, she’s studying her final year of shoe design at the Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín.

How would you describe your style?

It’s hard to say, but I enjoy working with clean, geometrical lines. I also like unconventional materials and new cuts. I try to realize my ideas both in streetwear as well as elegant designs, or a combination of both. People around me say that I’ve got my style and that I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

What does your workshop look like?

Quite funny. It’s a room in the driveway of my grandparent’s cottage. Over time, I dragged a ton of tools and materials over there. As well as two old Baťa machines that make a lot of noise during the night. Luckily, most of the neighbors are already partly deaf and like what I do. I feel at home there.

Do you have a specific approach to disassembling sneakers?

It’s an intuitive process. It depends on stuff like what parts I want from them and how damaged they are. But generally, I start with the sole.

What’s the biggest challenge of disassembling the sneakers?

You don’t have a second chance. You have to cut correctly, or you can throw the whole design into the fireplace.

What do you plan to do with the returned shoes?

Last year, I did interior accessories, so I’ll probably skip that this time, but I really enjoyed it. I’m working on unusual fashion accessoriesand protective equipment – I’ll see how it turns out.

What do you enjoy the most about your specialization?

It might sound like a cliché, but it applies to me. A new challenge with a new idea and solution. I love solving a technical challenge. The downside is that, occasionally, I come up with something great, but as soon as I finish it, it goes on the shelf and I can’t force myself to get back to it. Which is a shame sometimes.

Do you have any dreams for the future?

My dream is to start a real workshop and design studio with my boyfriend. I’d like to create products all the way from an initial design to the realization. We’re both active in this field of work, but so far only as smaller commissions.

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