Sneaker customization is a trend that seems to be growing in popularity, and now there’s a whole marketplace dedicated to customized sneakers, those who design them, and those who seek them out.
1. Can you tell us more about Concepts Sneakers?
Concepts Sneakers was started in 2015. Based in Hong Kong, Concepts Sneakers is a marketplace for new designers to showcase their works and team up with the world’s best customizers to create limited edition runs exclusively on our website. We believe that nobody should wait in line for sneakers overnight when you can own one of a kind custom designed shoes.
2. How do people place orders from you? Do you customize according to customers’ specific requirements or do you sell what you have already created?
Customers can place their orders for specific requirements or purchase shoes that I have already created.
3. What’s the price range of your creations?
Depending on customers’ requirements, prices will range between S$100 to S$250 for a basic design job. Shoes will be provided by the customer, and ideally, it will be a new pair. Customizations that involve studs and chains will incur additional charges.
4. What got you into sneaker customizations?
It started in secondary school when I developed an interest in art and drawing. Wanting to stand out from the crowd, I drew on my t-shirts, jeans, ties, and sneakers. I also drew on clothes and shoes that belonged to my friends. However, I only had permanent markers to work with back then.
5. How long have you been practicing your craft?
I received a box of leather paint from my wife as a birthday present four years ago. I have been customizing shoes since then. Before that, I was doing a lot of research on sneaker customization. Somehow this ignited my passion, and I have not stopped since.
6. Who are some sneaker customizers that inspire you?
When I first started, two customizers caught my attention – Mache and Sekure D. Their custom works are simply amazing and impressive. Mache is more into airbrushing work while Sekure D is into brush painting.
7. Are there any challenges that you face?
Vision and direction are very important for customizing. Your vision needs to match the pair of shoes you’re working with. Prep work is equally important as well. Always give yourself time and never rush your work. Working with suede is also never easy – once a mistake has been made, there is no fixing it.
8. Do you collect any sneakers?
Yes, I have been collecting sneakers since 1985. I currently own about 400 pairs of sneakers, from Air Jordans and Kobes to NMDs and Yeezys.
This interview with Steven Ho has been edited and condensed.