Matea Glusevic launches her new footwear label out of The Mill.
Ana Terra Handmade launches
There’s something to be said of quiet people. Quiet achievers working away behind closed doors, who create and craft until the quality of their work is undeniable and un-missable.
Matea Glusevic is one of those quiet achievers. Her craft is footwear, and her wares are of a quality that speaks for her.
Though she completed her studies in custom-made footwear at TafeSA in 2011, it was a long and winding road to launching her bespoke footwear label.
“I moved to Wollongong. I finished my Visual Arts degree at UniSA,”says Matea. “I specialised in Sculpture and Installation. And then I also did a year of Industrial Design at TafeSA ,which is like product design. And I did five or six months of a dental technology course. And I worked in an office.
“For the last five years, I’ve just been trying to figure out my life. And this year, finally, after trying out all of these different things over the past five years, the main thing that people seem to think that I’m good at, and I guess I am, is making shoes, so maybe I should just stick with that.”
Ana Terra Handmade is, like a growing number of small fashion business in this city, an anomaly within the wider fashion industry. The shoes are made to measure by just one craftsperson, using only locally-sourced kangaroo leather.
A small collection of designs is featured online, and customers can come into the studio to see the shoes in person and be measured up. But, it’s a slow process.
“Yes, people are going to fast fashion, but simultaneously there’s been a trend towards a slow fashion kind of movement and more focus on that. I think that’s steadily gaining more attention,” says Matea.
“There’s still always going to be people who want something that’s going to last longer and appreciate the fact that it’s made by a single person, rather than in a factory somewhere.”
Matea is an artist, and she continues to practice her art outside of Ana Terra. But it’s clear in the way that she speaks about her designs that the shoes she creates are another medium for expressing what she observes in the world around her.
“The slides were just because looking at a eucalyptus tree, so like looking at the colour of the bark, which is sort of like the leather and the pink little flowers,” she says.
“And the belt – that’s because I really liked those orange barrier fences. And the black slides were just because like, that work, that pipe thing that I did [for Dark Matter], I like the sort of dirty industrial thing. Some things come from older designs, like Rick Owens or something, [which are] classic but great.”
Matea’s business has artistry at its core – so as it grows, so will Adelaide’s identity as a city of culture and craftsmanship.