In a world where fashion is knocked off, “designer inspired”, or just plain copied, almost from the very moment it appears on the runway, owning something – anything – personalized and one-of-a-kind is automatically elevated to couture-like status. If that something just happens to be shoes, we’re talking Holy Grail-like status.
But who says you can’t be your own couturier? Not only are the creative possibilities endless, but you’ll also get to say, “Actually, they’re my own design”. Amy Smilovic, Tibi designer – and creator of Olivia’s floral and monogrammed Converses – tell us how to get started, and some tips to ensure your custom kicks are envy-worthy:
- Before you do anything, draw an example of what you want to create on paper, to help you visualize your new kicks.
- Go for something that reflects your personality, but don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone – like mixing a floral print with cheetah.
- Choose materials that are easy to work with, like a leather or canvas; stay away from suede.
- Prep the material before applying paint or an applique. Make sure the area’s clean (acetone works well).
- Use permanent paints – a paint marker will work better than a brush. If you’re working with canvas, use fabric pens.
- Iron-on appliques don’t require much skill; they’re easy to use and inexpensive.
- Apply a clear coat when finished, and a weather repellent to protect from rain and snow.
If you need a little inspiration, check out Olivia’s, and all of Amy’s limited edition sneakers, each featuring prints from the Tibi Spring 2013 collection – or just steal them for yourself – on Tibi.com (hey, if you monogram them, then they’re custom).