This weekend I travelled to London to meet up with some of my family from the Bahamas because my cousin was to be called to the Bar after graduating from law school. For this occasion I packed my favourite pair of customs that I created this summer to honour my heritage.
As a base I chose a Nike SB Lunar Janoski. The original Zoom Janoski is without a doubt my favourite silhouette and I love Lunarlon for its comfort. I’m very happy that Nike SB stayed sort of true to the original even though the midsole is no longer completely flat (the fake vulc-sole to me is the best part about the original). But unlike the Janoski Max they were made to skate, which was an important factor in the design concept.
The design was inspired by the “Statue of Liberty” Dunk SBs and the “Lance Mountain” Jordan 1 SBs. Both of them had a top layer of paint that was supposed to come off when you skate in them to show off their true colours. This would give each pair a unique look because the paint would come off differently.
I painted the Bahamian flag on the right shoe and the German flag on the left one to represent the nationalities of my parents. Then I covered the flags with another layer of paint with the other flags respectively so I had the German flag on the right (because the Germans drive their cars on the right hand side of the road) and the Bahamian flag on the left (because they drive on the left).
Now when I skate in them (which sadly isn’t as often as I would like to because Cardiff’s roads aren’t really made for skating) the top layer rubs off like my parents have rubbed off on me, showing my roots.
You may ask yourselves why I didn’t use the Bahamian flags as a base and paint the German layer on top of it? I really liked the idea of having a mismatched pair of shoes, like the “Lance Mountain” Jordan 1 SBs or the “Stars and Stripes” JS Wings that made me consider myself a sneakerhead.
But also, I actually came up with the idea for the shoe before I started skating and was worried that it would take too long for the colours to wear off and show what was hiding underneath. But the shoes motivated me to buy a board and start shredding.
Maybe I put a few too many layers of paint on the shoe because the black suede was hard to cover up. So when I started wearing the shoes the paint started to crack and show off the lower layers. They now look pretty beat but that is what I had intended.
And a wise man once said:
“It’s good to be caring, but shoes are for wearing!”
What do you think of these customs? What’s your take on customs in general?
Let me know in the comments below.