View basket View account

Anna Melegh is a footwear and accessories designer known for using the methods of surrealism to turn everyday objects inside out. Originally from Hungary, Anna has nearly a decade of education focused on art and shoe design. Her innovative approach has garnered recognition in the footwear industry. Her illustrations accompanied her designs until the beginning of 2024 when she created a series of greetings cards. Sustainability is always involved in her footwear designs and professional role. She wishes to continue this sustainable approach in her illustration and animation work as well.

We spoke with Anna to find out more about her illustration work.

What attracted you to your craft?

I have been doing illustrations since I remember, submitting my work from a young age to various art competitions. Since high school, they have been only an add-on alongside my shoes and accessories until someone last year said I could make a living out of my drawings. This was the point when I realised my drawings could exist without the shoes and since then I have been searching for various opportunities to expand towards illustration and animation.

What does your typical day look like?

I start my day with a cup of coffee and learning French. During the day I work for a French luxury shoe brand – saving and repairing shoes and advising clients or colleagues on how to look after their items. This current role is not so design-focused, but to think creatively about what is possible on a shoe, and how can we save an escalator-damaged item. During the weekend, I love exploring the various locations of the National Trust or the English Heritage, hunting for vintage clothing or exploring London even more. My work is inspiring me to think sustainably in my practice in terms of designs and production.

Does your product have an environmental focus?

Yes, my cards have been printed on FSC-approved recycled paper with zero coating meaning no plastic has been used in the production and my cards are fully recyclable at the end of their life. The envelopes are also made out of recycled paper. In terms of the designs, the original artworks have been hand-painted, this way the final cards have a gorgeous finish which allows them to look great on a wall if someone would like to frame them.

What is the unique selling point for your cards?

I think the hand-painted feeling of my cards is a big part but also animals in their natural but funny settings are appealing to individuals of all ages.

Where do you find / source your inspiration for designs?

Nature is a great source of inspiration, but recently I realised food and consumption are a big part of my footwear designs. The methods of the surrealists and their twisted worlds, the pop art movement, the characters of Beatrix Potter and everything from Hieronymus Bosch. Since I’m also working with shoes, the illustrations are affecting my footwear pieces and vice versa. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a book I can always return for inspiration and never get bored, I truly love the original illustration – my birthday marmot was actually alongside a shoe I created based on the book.

Please can you provide a little more info on how your interest in design started and developed?

I come from an artistic family so it came naturally that I will follow this path. It all started at the Secondary School of Visual Arts in Budapest learning to be a leather goods maker. I finished the BA Footwear and Accessories course in Northampton and completed the MA in Footwear at the London College of Fashion in 2022. As I mentioned, the illustrations were alongside my shoes and I never thought about them as existing alone just in their settings.

Do you have any favourite items in the collection?

The grumpy marmot, as it’s my oldest piece – originally made it in 2015 alongside of my first pair of shoes. It reminds me of where I come from and how far I have come since!

How would you summarise your collection in a few sentences?

Designs that make you smile, scenes that we could imagine are real – animals’ secret lives. I could truly see a tiny crab looking for a new home that looks like a pretty house in Notting Hill, but also how crows are digging in the bin with their best buddies. My grandpa actually couldn’t stop laughing at this card, it is so true and a moment that we can see happening.

What are your hopes for the future? Where would you like to take your design career /

I would like to expand the range with other cards and maybe create a series for endangered animals. As with my shoes, I believe art can highlight various issues so using my art for this purpose would be absolutely fantastic