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Crafting luxury concepts with Cassandra Christou

Longer shot of Cassandra wearing striped black and white fur boots with matching hat
  • Written byM.Fields
  • Published date 13 January 2022
Longer shot of Cassandra wearing striped black and white fur boots with matching hat

BA (Hons) Cordwainer's Footwear: Product Design and Innovation student Cassandra Christou has produced her dream concept design, titled 'FURSACE'. Cassandra, who is in her second year on the course, mixed Versace’s traditional Neo-Baroque print with Ancient Greek Meander. The result is striking, with striped fur adorning the boot's upper.

LCF Stories caught up with Cassandra, who shared insight into the process, her first memories of the Versace brand and the importance of upcycling.

Image of black and white striped fur boot lying on the floor
What was your thought process behind FURSACE?

Having my own choice of brand selection for this project, my immediate response was 'Versace'. The boot I have designed is a reflection of the AW21/22 Versace collection and I wanted to come up with a design that has never before been seen on any runway. I longed to create a design that ties in with iconic brand elements, coming up with the idea of contradictory silver Versace pins grasping the bootstraps together; reminiscing the iconic 'Safety Pin' dress (of 1994).

Image of striped fur boots, zoomed in
What is your first memory of the Versace brand?

My first memory of Versace was the alluring and haunting story of Medusa, an enchantress cursed into a stone-turning monster. I grew up listening to the tales of mythology due to my Greek background, immediately linking the iconic Medusa head with a brand so magnificently produced, evolving around the idea of feminine beauty. From a young age, the unique prints and bold use of colour the brand selects always excited me and was part of the reason I was motivated to step into the world of fashion.

How important is upcycling and sustainable designing in your practice?

Sustainability has become the single most important factor to work towards in today's fashion industry. Taking a closer look into the reality of what a garment goes through before it reaches our hands has greatly affected the way I think and shop, and it has awakened the importance of checking where our items are coming from and how they have been produced. Upcycling is an excellent method when considering sustainability, as it transforms what you already have in your wardrobe into something more relevant and that you will now wear far more. Through my project, I upcycled the left-over fur and sewed it into an old bucket hat I previously owned.

Close up of Cassandra in striped black and white fur hat
Do you have any more concept designs that you plan to make?

I am always up for experimenting with my creativity, whatever theme or concept is given my way; whether I am required to design luxurious high heels to streetwear sneakers. With the specific Versace project, I have designed a variety of shoes but the Versace + Fur boot = 'Fursace' is the one that I believe is the freshest and most creative to be projected.