"His work can be worn, felt, and touched. In fact, the layers of texture and the incorporation of unlikely shoe materials beg to be manipulated by hand." At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a designer? When I won the 1st place prize as a shoe designer (Detay Deri Tasarim Yarismasi), I knew I wanted to design shoes. From your twelve years of designing so far, what can you tell young hopefuls about the industry? Work only on your portfolio for a couple of years to grow and get better. Study graphics in magazines to develop your personal style and eye for design. What decade in history produced the most aesthetically-pleasing shoes? The 1990s. Technology erupted in this era which influenced shoe designers who produced iconic tech shoes. Who, in design, or in general, inspires and motivates your work? Do you enjoy designing other items beyond footwear? Alexander McQueen, who had a different perspective. Yes. I design bags and other products. What can you tell us about your process for design? I play mystic music throughout my design process at every stage. This influence helps me to determine my topic and begin to sketch. After I develop a sketch I like, I begin drawing a full rendering. 28 Describe the type of person who would most enjoy your work. Otherworldly. Eccentric. Someone who lives in their dreams. Is there a famous person you would love to see wearing your designs? Lady Gaga, Bjork – eccentric artists. What is the future of your design work? What can you tell us about an upcoming project? I am working on a winter 2019 collection of high heels influenced by Japanese traditional culture. If you weren’t designing shoes, what other type of career would you like to undertake? I would be a contemporary artist or painter. How would you like your work to be remembered? Just crazy. Safa Sahin (safa.sahin on Instagram) is a revolutionary mind, the type of designer who challenges the pretense of buyability and knows, with confidence, that the right brands and the right buyers will find you. While Sahin’s designs stand out now, here’s to hoping the the rest of the world will rise to his level of oddity and self-assertion.