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In true Generation Y fashion, social media opens a sneaker designer’s future.
Three years ago you couldn’t have told me that I wouldn’t be a car designer. A slightly younger version of myself had it all planned out; I would graduate high school and go on to CCS in Detroit to pursue a degree in transportation design, graduate and be a designer at a German brand. I had unwavering faith in this dream for years and couldn’t be deterred from it, or so I thought. I was as ambitious as I was headstrong.
Swapping fast cars for designer sneakers
It wasn’t until I came across one particular sneaker designed by Marc Dolce that everything would completely change. Overnight I became immersed in sneaker culture. I wanted to learn everything from sneaker history to the design stories that led up to my favorite models. I eventually began to apply the same passion and energy I had for automotive design to footwear design. Keep in mind I knew next to nothing about the design process as it related to footwear so the first few sketchbooks were, err, rough.
Instagram unlocks design dialog
During that time most of my work was confined to personal sketchbooks, thus getting absolutely no exposure. I was sketching in a driver’s ed class one day when a good friend of mine suggested that I post my work on Instagram. Of course I took the advice and started an account posting sketches and renderings of what I had been working on. Whenever I would post I would tag the designers I admired and looked up to (Marc Dolce, Denis Dekovic, Mark Miner, Scott Robertson etc.). I just kept at it, reaching out to different designers and brands in an effort to start any dialog.
Inspired by 3-Stripes history
Even though I reached out to a few brands I was definitely leaning toward adi. adidas had this certain cultural history and spirit that intrigued and interested me. The UltraBOOST had just released, Y-3 had created these beautiful unorthodox forms, the Yeezy project was approaching, and three of the most influential designers in the footwear industry joined the brand, so it was a great time of anticipation and progress for both the brand and myself. Their products were just as cultural as they were functional and that mixture was something I knew I wanted to be a part of.
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