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Footwear

I spent a lot of time in my own world as a kid, so creativity has always felt like a part of my DNA. My ability to create took me from selling shoe drawings for 25 cents in 7th grade, to becoming the founder of my former global brand (GroundBreaker Customs); producing custom footwear, apparel, and accessories for a wide range of clients at the age of 17.

GroundBreaker Customs was terminated in 2015, and has since made the transition into a subsidiary of 723. Through both GBC and 723, I've been blessed to either meet, befriend, design for, recieve exposure/endorsements from, work with, and/or learn from:

adidas

Nike

Wells Fargo

Marquette University Men's Basketball

ESPN

Microsoft

Reebok 

Millenial Magazine

TOMS

Motorized Precision

And many more.

Using quality materials, subtle accents and strategic colorblocking, I focus on innovation and attention to detail in producing custom work. I don't customize footwear for hype. I don't customize footwear for social media notoriety, and I don't customize footwear for the money. Customization represents one of the many outlets I utilize in efforts to express myself, while allowing me to give clients something they can take pride in; as they receive the only pair of it's kind in the world.

"Obsidian" Nike Air Force 1 Low

Comfort and luxury are two areas I wanted to focus on with this pair, while maintaining functionality and including original AF1 elements.

 

Leading things off, I quilted some black velvet and paired it with a perforated lambskin leather for the liner. With only one more layer on top, the extended tongue is designed to be thin, flexible, comfortable, durable and best of all- stay in place(!) with 5 tongue stabilizers. 

 

Opting for a polished look and feel for the upper, I chose a waxed denim and patent leather combo that when contrasted with the darker, matte appearance of the suede- presents an eye pleasing balance of color & materials.

 

Suede etiquette 101 says to stay away from water- but should you find yourself around a spill, puddle or unexpected rainfall; you can rest easy knowing that the suede was pre-treated for water repellency, and the wax finish on the denim adds great water resistance. The patent leather speaks for itself in this category, but what some may not know is how the material resembles the pair's namesake; the glass-like obsidian rock.

 

Known in many regions to possess healing and grounding properties, the jet black volcanic rock is the perfect metaphor for getting back to accepting the black AF1 as the true streetwear/footwear staple that it is. Piggybacking off of that sentiment, I included mirrors in the vents for the cool kids- as a metaphor for looking at what they're actually perpetuating by trashing the black Air Force 1.

 

"Profiling is weird behavior, my boi. Don't do that."

- Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Metastatic Breast Cancer Research- Nike Air Force 1 Prototype

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October, but men and women fight the disease everyday. I made this unisex Air Force 1 prototype with the ultimate goal in mind of raising awareness/funding for metastatic breast cancer research- which ties into a larger brand/design ethos of creating art for various causes.

 

Since these are just a prototype, I had fun with a little material design and adjusted the pattern. I mixed thread weights, and experimented with what colors/materials/processes I want to use (or not use) for the final product, which will look a bit different. That said, here’s some insight on the design:

 

  • Metastatic breast cancer may be considered terminal, but it doesn’t have to mean “defeat”. I used cork to symbolize the celebration of beating cancer (literally/figuratively), by making the most out of the days/years we’re given. 

 

  • The unique stitching on the swoosh is to resemble heart rate/pulse waves on an ECG screen. The red symbolizes blood flow, and represents the life of anyone who has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer. 

 

  • Carbon fiber is one of the strongest materials in existence. Using carbon fiber vinyl for the vamp/quarter panels allowed me to symbolize the strength of anyone who has ever fought MBC.

 

  • In line with the colors/meaning of the MBC ribbon from Metavivor, I included green and teal accents on the tongue and liner.

 

  • Just like the importance of street signs or the vest of a construction worker at night- the reflective underlays in the vamp/quarter panels represent symptoms coming to light after a routine check, it represents the attention needed outside of October, and the importance of finding a cure. 🎗️

"On My Way" - Wells Fargo

Blessed with the opportunity to work with Wells Fargo in spring 2017 for thier "On My Way" campaign, highlighting several creative, independent individuals who are crafting their own journeys. See the official ad from Pace Communications and Director's cut from EightFold Collective below, and click here to read the profile from Wells Fargo. This project was an honoree for a Branded Short Film Webby award in 2018. 

Customs

Sketching, Ideation and Rendering

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