Robin Kang

Fashion Product
Image: Left to Right: The Lady, The Compact, The Mirror, The Boudoir, The Puff
Video: Surrealism through the lens of fashion explores themes of “metaphor and metamorphosis, bodies and parts, displacements and illusions, natural and unnatural worlds, and the doyenne and the dandy”. Vice Versa is a collection of multifunctional surrealist objects, shoes, and its altered “removal from its conventional milieu, causing disruptions in role, association…shifted identity through its new designation” dualing as handbags. Throughout this collection, Vice Versa references surrealist concepts while playing around with the functionality of conventional shoe forms and shifting the perception of shoes as purely footwear. 

Quotes derived from Richard Martin's Fashion and Surrealism
Image: Vice Versa emphasizes form, functionality, and silhouette. The consistency of the color white allows for each shoe to be seen purely for its form and functionality. While the outside remains the same color, the inside linings surprise and encourage the wearer with bright gradients to open up the shoes and use them as their other function, bags. The contrast of the outer appearance and the inner linings explore values and transitions in color within a medium of leather and screenprinted gradients.

Shoes and Bags: The Relationship of Hardware

Throughout the collection, the use of classic bag hardware is made to reference the sense and functionality of a typical handbag. Clasps and locks serve their purpose of keeping things tightly conjoined together for structure. This collection serves as a fine line between the two distinct accessory types while learning to conjoin them together. The brand of Vice Versa is also identifiable by the use of the D-ring at the heel of every shoe. The D-ring adds as a functional way to add a strap onto any shoe. This option further pushes the concept of functionality in form and design outside of the intended context of a shoe. 
The two straps within this collection can be attached to the backs of every shoe within this collection to utilize its other functionality as bags. Each strap also has the ability to be adjustable to the desires of the wearer. One can choose to wear it as a longer messenger bag while the other option allows for a shorter handbag. All bags can also be held without the straps for a clutch look.

A Look into the Process

Feel free to take a closer look! Upon first glance, we see surrealist references from Meret Oppenheim, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, and more. Yves Tanguy's use of color and gradation to visualize the depth of form was a major inspiration in the use of gradients and color. Looking through the sketches and color pages, we can see how the collection began to form.
A deeper look and we dive into the process of making and craftsmanship. Screenprinting, shoemaking, and woodwork processes are annotated and documented. With the breakdown of product shots, we see the variety of ways each shoe can be worn and how it functions. Finally, a look into the process of branding and how Vice Versa came to be!


Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Robin’s interest in leather goods has led her to pursue a creative discipline within fashion accessories.

A common theme throughout Robin’s work is a whimsical approach to her observations and surroundings. Each project escapes from the seriousness of her realities through dramatizations, theatrics, and fantasies. 

Though whimsical, Robin maintains a sense of sophistication and sensuality throughout her leather accessories. As Robin walks along a fine line of refinement and playfulness, her extensive knowledge of craftsmanship in a multitude of mediums allows Robin to bring her fantasies to life.

Now residing in New York City, Robin ventures into a multitude of artistic pathways that further supplement her creative drive for leather accessories and footwear.