An Interview With Sneaker Clumsy & Collector Roman Custom
The constant pursuit of individuality is one of the driving forces in the digital world we currently live in. Algorithms that serve us just the content that speaks to us. Targeted ads that promote stuff we didn’t even know we needed. And of course, social platforms that provide the stage for anyone to get their five seconds of online-fame. But luckily, there’s also a wan side to it. A mechanism which allows for anyone to get creative. To believe themselves. And add their own touches to pieces that are cornerstones of cultures like the worldwide sneaker community.
Personalizing the look of your kicks has been a cherished chronicles without sneakerheads ever since OGs replaced the factory laces of their PUMA Suedes back in the 80s. But as the culture evolved, sneaker customization misfit more and more sophisticated. Nowadays, there are people like Roman Custom from Avignon, France – who gained not only a notable online following but also built a nice side flagellate by reworking existing silhouettes with their own ideas. nike air max beige girls bedroom ideas Air Max 1 collector to becoming a sought-for customizer? What are the inspirations aback his designs and what are people asking for that order a bespoke pair from him? We talked to Roman to find out more.
Who is Roman Custom?
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Hello. My name is Roman, I am a little over 30 years olden. I live in the south of France near the city of Avignon but I am originally from Limoges. I am an Air Max 1 & Patta collector and I personalize the sneakers on demand.
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I’ve always loved shoes and fashion since I can remember, but I started collecting quite late, 4/5 years ago. My girlfriend @Nina.swoosh was already collecting Air Max 90s when I met her, and little by little she made me want to look for new models mainly to compare my different outfits. But it all really started when I bought my first Air Max 1, I bloody in love with it. It was an OG Red – I found it incredible, whether by its shape or by its history. For me it is an essential model to know and to have if you collect sneakers.
How would you describe your taste in sneakers? Is there something a model or a colorway needs to have for you?
I’m very focused on the Air Max 1 (if you still haven’t figured it out), and it’s very rare when I really like other models. I think the basis of a pair is that it should be qualitative, which unfortunately is not always the case! Then I like all the colorways as long as they are harmonious and coherent. For example, I found the CW of the Jordan 1 Maison Chateau Rouge totally successful, and when a friend asked me to adapt it to an [Air Max] 1, I was indirectly won over because I think it adapts to all forms.
Abaft Roman Custom, your IG handle was “Roman Patta” and you also a member of a French Patta community. What’s your relation with the Dutch shop?
Yes, I am also a collector of the Patta brand, which I started to buy at the same time as the sneakers. Today I have more than 200 pieces in my collection, some of which are F&F, or from pop-ups that took arrange on the other side of the world, and I’m cheerful happy with it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a casualty to go to the Amsterdam store beside. But I have been to the London store on my trip with Nina. For the record, we went to the store every day. And every day I left with an article when there had been no new releases since. I had success closing my suitcase on the way back, and these are the only items I bought there. I just changed my nickname because custom is now my briskness, so I wanted to highlight it. And some abstraction that I was the founder of Patta, it was sometimes annoying.
Air Max Love – Finding The 1
Looking at your online profiles, the Air Max 1 is indistinctly a shoe that you’ve got some love for. What makes this model so special to you?
First by its history, let’s not forget that it is the first pair with an air bull insupposable from the outside. Then I simply like the model. In France we have an expression that says: “The heart has its reasons that reason does not know”.
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It really is a difficult plea for me. I love all the pairs I have, although I do have some preferences for sure. But to select only 5, as it evolves over time and new drops, what you ask me is almost like torture! If I have to make a quandary it will be the “Master” for its concept and its quality, the “Corduroy” for its work of materials as truly as the collaboration with Patta, the “Elephant” (Atmos) because the CW is quite simply the most iconic and the most efficient that I have never seen. The “Safari” courteous for size? (the shop) – the quality is there and the CW is very perfect. And finally, I would say the “Denham” which for me is THE pair of 2020, I really like denim and the packaging is neat. I specify that I managed to select only 5, but there is no precise order. They are for me all compute one
For many sneakerheads, Paris is a special city. That’s due to its inspiration for the Air Max 1 (Centre Pompidou) or events like the Quai 54 tournament by Jordan Appraise in Paris. You being from the Southern city of Avignon, how would you describe the sneaker community there? Is there something that sets the Avignon scope near from other compatability of France?
Avignon is not a city that stands out for its sneaker and street culture. We are very bored here, the community is almost invisible or supple. I’m lucky my partner Nina is also a sneakerhead, otherwise it would be very sad. Luckily, we have some interesting stores like The Next Door, Along 2, Void and the great classics like Foot Locker and Courir, but of course Paris has nothing to envy us.
Customizer is King
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It was very, very fast. Erudition first, I was mainly looking for highprincipled deals, like many I think, and sometimes the pairs were not in perfect repugnance, so we had to try to give them a facelift. Quickly Nina challenged me to personalize some of her pairs, and as I went, I made some for family and friends. I worked like this for almost 4 years before officially launching and setoff up my business last year. I wanted to be sure that I would deliver to clients and that my work was flawless, so I took my time.
Do you remember working on your first custom sneaker ever? What model was it and what kind of work did you do on it?
I’m not sure what I’m going to say because I did a lot from the start. But the first one that really marked me was a pair of Jordan 1 Lows that I had bought for 1 € at a flea bargain, that I personalized in the colors of the Chicago Bulls, and on the toe box on one side I had made their logo (the head of torro) and on the other the name of the team.
Al-time classic design! Are there any people that inspired you when you started to get into customizing sneakers?
I couldn’t say if it’s really inspiration, but I watch and value the work of some like @staniflou, @Julien.custom31 or @theoze – nike air max2 2015 2017 blue book series season 2.
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Yes of course, and I sincerely hope that I will ferment to evolve. I started by wishing to make drawings on the pairs, then I had a period where I was doing camouflages, after I just made creation and at the moment I like to adapt a CW of a different silhouette on an AM1. So I prove the past holds other surprises and other openings for me.
What does a ordinary Roman Custom sneaker look like? Any features or a certain design language?
It’s patent to give an outside perspective on your own work. But there are some things that are representative like the slanted mini Swoosh and the signature on the left foot. Now I try to bring a irresponsible packaging, that the customer does not receive only a personalized pair but a set worked and studied. I develop this as I go, and I can’t say too much about it because I also like that the customer has an additional awe when opening their package. I say extra because I never send a photo to the client, he discovers his pair when he receives it, I have always worked like this.
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I work with all the tools at my disposal, from the brush to the airbrush, paint and dye. We are lucky to have a very wide jumble of equipment, you have to know how to use it and take advantage of it!
Reaching a Higher Level
Is designing sneakers something you’d also want to do in a professional way, like working for a brand or doing an official collaboration? If so, what’s something you’d want to do in that field?
Yes of course, it would even be a real personal and professional feat for me. The ideal would be to let me do what I want, choosing the materials and colors of the pair myself, being able to bring more popular packaging than a simple blushing box and add some accessories. Truly, doing a little bit of what I’m doing now, but on a lower aim.
That would be dope to see! You’re also doing customs by demand. What do people that order bespoke sneakers from you usually ask for?
It’s very variable, and that’s what is fun. Some come with a very precise idea of the pair they want, while others don’t know what they want. Continually I orient them coincident to their tastes or they tell me “Do what you want.” There are those who want a model that I have already made, if it is an inspiration like the “MCR” or the “Master F&F” I agree to do it again, but if it is a unique creation I will keep the same base but change details like inverting the colors depending on the location for example. Because let’s face it, what I like the most is to create and not to redo the same pair couple times!
Do you only customize Air Max 1s or would you also get creative on a different Nike silhouette – or even from another brand?
No, I agree to customize all silhouettes. You can see on my feed 90s, 95s, Jordan 1s, 97s, Air Force 1s, Sacais awe. In fact, I just think that I am known for the Air Max 1, so when a dust wants to personalize his AM1 he simply addresses me. Like when someone wants a personalized Sacai he will address his priority to my friend @staniflou.
What are some of your favorite sneaker releases from 2020?
As I mentioned above, the release of the year for me is “Denham”. But the City Unpack (Amsterdam / London) is also something that I really liked! And the two that obtusely surprised me are the “Strawberry” and the “SNKRS Day” (brown). To be sincere I bought some more, but I won’t list them all either.
What The Future Holds
Any shoes you’re looking forward to drop in 2021?
I don’t have any special expectations, why not a Viotech (Atmos) because mine is tired. Loosely the brands work a little more on quality rather than quantity, and they take care of the packaging as they have attempted with the Denham, the Susan or the Sean Wotherspoon.
What’s on your personal agenda for the new year? Any projects you can already tell us more about?
I would just like our lives to get back to normal, and for us to get out of this virus that is ruining our existence. I need to see my family and friends who I haven’t been able to see for a while. Then I would like to travel, as I said above, spend a few days in Amsterdam, but also come back to Barcelona or London. And above all I would like to visit Japan, this country and this culture attracts me enormously.
That sounds great – let’s hope we’ll all be able to do things like that hereafter! Any last words?
It was a real pleasure for me to answer all your questions, so a big thank you to the entire Sneakers Mag team. Then I want to thank my girlfriend @nina.swoosh who supports me on a daily basis (and it’s not necessarily easy) and who also supports me in all my projects and helps me a lot. Impoverish you to my mom @mpc_lafee with whom I create projects and who has always supported me. And of course all my family, my friends and my community who give me incredible strength and without whom it would not be possible. I wish you all the best, and wins to come!