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Today's young designers are inspired by our mass consumption to innovate new ways to counteract the waste of the fashion industry. Turning trash into treasure, promising designer All Amin finds creative ways to wear shoes, other than on your feet. Her work went viral back in 2019, as her sneaker corset circulated media facets worldwide.
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Amin has credited her inspiration to her extensive shoe collection.
“I had a whole room full of shoes. Now, I curse my former consumerism, but it opened my eyes to what kind of disposable society we live in. I was really trend-obsessed and wanted to find new pieces every day”.
She has said she always had a special interest in shoes, but her collection grew rapidly when she started to work at Footlocker. She said, “At some point, I had collected so many shoes that I realised I will never wear all of them. So I just started to cut them apart to create something new”. Her mutilative practise definitely makes sneakerheads cringe, but is closely followed by a sigh of relief when we see her stunning end product.
After growing up in Reutlingen, Germany, the Kurdish designer moved to Berlin to continue her career as a designer. Currently, at 25 she makes a living off of selling her works.
She describes her brand as “very playful and not divided into size or gender” of course taking inspiration from her personal androgynous style. We see her walking the line between masculine and feminine dress when she turns traditionally masculine sneakers into a furry heeled boot. Her other creations utilize sneakers as a glitzy headdress, or fashion a timberland into a collar, the perfect accessory to a lacy dress.
For the most part, her projects are gender-neutral - not in that they look genderless, but rather they utilize aspects from the fashion gender binary, most often the masculine component being an old sneaker, and the feminine aspect being something sparkly, or lacy.
Sustainability is a key component of her brand. All of her creations are made from unwanted sneakers donated from her followers or local charity shops. She herself has not purchased anything retail for the past few years, only consuming secondhand. In an environment of retailers that she believes are greenwashing, she wanted to establish herself as a completely transparent sustainable brand.
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Her catchy Instagram handle, @haramwithsugar, makes a reference to her Islamic faith, the word haram meaning ‘forbidden’ in Arabic. Alongside this, in her Instagram bios are “sometimes you gotta mashallah (Liberate) yourself” and “Alhamdulillah (Praise God), another independent fashion brand trying to be as sustainable as possible”. Among young Muslims, the word Haram is often used to describe something that goes against the religion, AKA a sin. The word has built up a reputation for being slang.
In the religion, the mode of dress is quite modest, especially for women. Although most women follow this regime to different degrees the rules are as follows; All must be covered except for hands, feet, and face (excluding hair); The clothing must be loose and not form-fitting as not to define the shape of the body; The clothes must not be see-through as not to create the illusion of nakedness; The modesty of regulation extends to flashy components of clothing (this includes things that are shiny or make noise as you wear it).
Her brand is almost an extreme form of rebellion, in regards to her faith. Her designs mimic many undergarments such as corsetry, and bikini styles, both of which are prohibited under the Islamic rule of modesty.
At the end of 2020, Amin created her label, HARAM, selling mostly her iconic sneaker corsets but also g-strings and graffiti scarves. All are being sold on her depop with periodic releases as she continues creating.
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