WAD 2014

WEDNESDAY 20 AUGUST 2014

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Mihai Albu - Shoe Architect, Romania 
Monday 17 May 2010
 
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Editorial

Former architect creates 'Skyscraper Sandals' at a height of 12 inches 

One of the leading names in Romanian fashion, designer Mihai Albu was once a successful architect whose projects were displayed in galleries alongside the works of other famous artists. Since turning his hand to cutting edge shoe design, Albu has transferred his architectural skills into the high fashion world, earning him the nickname ‘Shoe Architect’.

High fashion has always pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable, regardless of personal comfort or basic safety. In the last decade, as hemlines become shorter, so heels have become higher. We’ve seen Naomi Campbell take a tumble in Vivienne Westwood’s vertiginous sandals, the Spice Girls empower young girls to don extreme platformed creations and the stunning Gwyneth Paltrow totter her way through a multitude of towering 7in toe-crushers during the promotional tour of the movie 'Iron Man'. Now, the über-talented, media-dubbed ‘Shoe Architect’ Mihai Albu has really taken the biscuit, creating a pair of extravagant masterpieces which will increase the wearer’s height by a staggering 12 inches (31 cm). The ‘Skyscraper Sandals’ are composed of three dark-hued wedge shoes stacked on top of one another. Whilst there are no guarantees that the heels will provide any level of comfort whatsoever, there is no denying that the shoes themselves are individual works of art.

Whilst many women may find such extreme footwear a little too dizzying, reports suggest that Albu has already received dozens of orders for the ‘Skyscraper Sandals’. Marcellous Jones, editor-in-chief of The Fashion Insider .com magazine, said: “They are impractical, but there are women who are brave enough to wear them. They get attention for the wearer and the designer.” And brave they must be, because not only do these handcrafted heels come with a side of vertigo, but they also carry a whopping price tag of €1,200. In a country where the average salary is €450 per month, this really isn’t a trend for the faint hearted.

To see what other products architects have been turning their hand to, click here.

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

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