Agathe Pornin Footwear Designer
Agathe Pornin, 23 years old french designer just finished her Master’s Degree at IFM in Footwear and is starting an internship at Isabel Marant.
Who are you? That’s a good question. I usually define myself mostly through work, so I would say that I’m a footwear designer, with a background in womenswear. If I try and make this more personal, I’d say I’m 23, Gemini, Parisian, movie lover and lately addicted to Animal Crossing.
Why did you decide to study fashion? I have always known I wanted to work in fashion. I must have been about 6 years old when I made up my mind. At my grandpa’s place, there is this building we call the “atelier” with a room full of fabrics that belonged to my late grandmother. She used them for quilting, so there was really a lot. I have memories of being in this room, fascinated by all the colours ! I’m sure that influenced me somehow. I also recall a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac exhibition that changed my life! He makes fashion look fun, and for a kid I think it was really easy to understand. Since then, I really felt like that was what I was meant to do.
How did people around you react when you said you wanted to be a designer? Well, thankfully, no one really questioned it. I think I decided at such a young age, and I was so determinate and always drawing, that no one thought of telling me I couldn’t do it. My parents have always been very supportive of my choice and of my passion. I used to make clothes in my bedroom and I would always go to my mother first to show her and ask for her opinion !
Why footwear? Why not? Actually, for a long time I really wanted to do womenswear. Around the age of 12, I started drawing a lot of shoes, especially on the margins of my notebooks in class! As I got older, I realized maybe that was it for me. In ESMOD, where I did my bachelor, I spent two years doing womenswear, and boy, that was not my thing. I love design but I sucked at patternmaking. I then studied 1 year of accessories and felt right at home. When I specialized in footwear though, I was afraid patternmaking would be an issue again ! For some reason though, it’s not as hard, maybe because of the smaller scale.
Recently, IFM showed its students graduate collection at Paris Fashion Week. Can you tell me a bit about yours? Sure ! I decided to work on a return to anonymity. Nowadays, it can feel like privacy has disappeared : we have phones, computers, surveillance cameras in the street, social media… anyone can know anything about you! That’s a scary thought! I really wanted to tackle the subject because it’s very present (in France, there is a big debate about the “Loi Sécurité Globale”). The idea with this collection was to get inspiration from people in the streets and make shoes that help you hide: they blend in your clothes, look like they’re melting, or the outline of the shoe is suggested.
What are your goals for the next five years? First of all finish my internship and graduate! I would really love to work for brands like Miu Miu, Fendi, Givenchy… (the list goes on and on) and really acquire a lot of experience. I also created a small upcycling/customization brand called Morning Dilemma. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this but I want to have fun. Something else I’d love to do is work a bit on illustrations! I have an illustration account called @annygrapho, but I’ve been so busy I kind of stopped for now. I’d love to work a bit more on that, and a goal of mine is also to illustrate a children’s book!
It seems like you have a lot of different things you want to do!
Yes, maybe a bit too much ! I just love the idea of expanding creativity to different fields! Sometimes it feels like 24 hours a day is not enough.
If you could invite 5 people for a dinner, dead or alive, who would you chose? That’s my favorite question ! First of all my beloved grandpa who passed away when I was 15. Then Freddie Mercury, I’ve loved Queen for as long as I can remember! Third would be Guillaume Apollinaire because he is my favorite poet. I think the mix between him and Freddie could be very interesting ! Fourth would be Miley Cyrus, I l’ve listened to her for years. . And finally François Ozon who made the movie “Jeune et Jolie”.
Speaking of movies, what’s your favorite ? Choosing one is impossible ! If I really, really have to, I’d say Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand ! It’s a musical about an American girl who wants to be a singer, but isn’t pretty enough and works her ass off to show everyone that she is a star.
Do you have a secret talent? I actually have one, but I think whoever reads this will either think I’m lying or crazy. One year ago, I found out that I am a radiesthetist. I can find water using metal rods, and I can also use a pendulum. Not sure it will be useful on a daily basis but these are things I like to do for fun !