Hailing from Denmark, twenty-eight year old Marieka Ratsma is a budding shoe and accessory designer you need to have on your radar. Ratsma recently graduated with a degree in fashion design from the Utrecht School of Arts. It was her stunning Biomimicry shoe, a school project, which first caught our attention as it made it’s way from the classroom to the pages of Dutch Grazia Magazine and then onto New York as part of FIT’s breathtaking Shoe Obsession exhibit. And this is only the beginning for this talented up-and-comer.
Ratsma experiments in high concept craftsmanship and although she has yet to produce a wearable, shoppable collection, her vision is as clear and creative as some of the top designers of this generation. “I love exploring materials and new techniques, whether it is in clothing or accessories and shoes,” she explains. “Exploring and collaborating makes design an adventure, and no one day is the same.”
A fiendish traveler, Ratsma enjoys venturing to new destinations and experiencing new things. “I love nature because it’s endless, and science for trying to explore and explain its wonders.” This passion seeps into her designs, creating an aesthetic that is futuristic, intricate and daring.
“I believe that when it comes to design, anything goes,” she says. “I love it when designs raise questions or discussion. When I finally have an idea, I let it sit in my head for a while before starting the making. Kind of like a good old cheese.” This process led her to design two small lines of 3D printed accessories alongside developing her shoes. “The rings are designed to have the viewer take a second look or question what they are seeing. For example, the Stoneless series uses the principle of something not being there, but because of that absence it actually draws attention to it.” 3D printing is the latest craze in fashion design experimentation, so Ratsma’s enthusiasm towards the medium comes as no surprise.
Though she is in the nascent stages of her business, Ratsma already has expansion in mind. She hopes to push her designs into the future, taking advantage of technology and production, as well as make things available for customers to actually wear. This focus is a variable that makes Ratsma stand out amongst other creatives.
Oftentimes the industry sees talented designers go nowhere because their designs are solely focused on being artistic and passionate, regardless of whether they possess the ability to be worn or produced. Ratsma’s foresight into this process is what makes us the most excited about seeing her brand develop. Hopefully in the coming seasons, there will be a ready-to-wear collection available of Marieka Ratsma footwear. You can bet that we’ve already put our name down for a pair. — SAMANTHA LIM