I vividly recall seeing the low-cut Converse Chuck Taylor back in 2006 or 2007. That was the silhouette that sparked the drive to change, deconstruct and recreate.
While my classmates were collecting keychains to flaunt on their school bags, I was swapping over shoelaces and scribbling on my beaten-up pair of Converse.
“Follow your passion and it will lead you to your purpose” - The confidence that it gave me, to know that my shoes were a reflection of my personality and aesthetic, and no one else had them was the catalyst for what I do today.
To me, sneakers are art. Each pair is so unique and so perfectly curated and as an artist myself, I can't help but admire each and every pair. With that being said, I don’t consider myself to be a sneaker collector.
Although I do applaud sneakerheads for their love for shoes and their history, yet as a custom sneaker designer and artist, I have to resist the urge to put sneakers on a pedestal - If I did, I wouldn’t be able to put a blade to the shoes and paint on them every day. I have to allow myself to forget the importance and value of the sneaker in order to create something new.
My inspiration usually comes from the people and places that surround me. Growing up in Singapore, India, and Australia, I was exposed to a variety of art, music, and culture at a young age. The constant change in the environment has nurtured a lifetime of inspiration that I am forever grateful for.
If ever I am facing a creative block, I’ve found that social media is a great mechanism to find inspiration. I’m learning to utilize social media as a positive tool to learn from, share, and build a network with other talented creators.
Right now my go-to sneakers are my Murakami Print Airforce 1 and Frosted Glass Jordan 1s.
Getting a new pair of kicks is like venturing into undiscovered territory. I never know exactly what is going to come from it, but it always guarantees an adventure worth experiencing.
I try not to place value on the shoes until after I have customized them, so my mind races with ideas as soon as I have a new pair of shoes. I typically spend the first day just staring at the shoes, looking closely at the textures and stitch work - creating a mental strategy of the shoe’s future.
Some of my favourite custom sneaker creators at the moment are @lorenz.og, @andu.c, and @camcreatez.
Custom sneakers have never been more prevalent than now, and in a market that is almost over-saturated, I feel like these custom shoe designers allow for a plurality of thought and inspire me to think out of the box.
The ultimate holy grail sneaker that I have not managed to acquire would easily have to be the Aleali May x Women’s Air Jordan 14 Retro Low SP 'Fortune'
My phone and most definitely my iPad.
You can find me on Instagram - @theofficialkita