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What Does It Take To Be A Sneaker Craftsman?


When I heard about the bespoke sneakers they make at No. One, I didn’t know precisely what to expect. I’ve seen shoes being made before, even know a thing or two about them, but this was a different level. We’re talking about craft and care that seems like it comes straight out of the 1800s. Five people in a room, all working to make a sneaker that won’t just be worn, but loved.

This is about the shoe as an artistic statement. It’s also not easy.

“So many kids come in and say, ‘I want to be a Shoe Designerinternet fame and Kanye checks!‘” Mark Gainor, lead creative at No. One told me. “I kind of talk them out of it. Being a shoe designer and shoe craftsman couldn’t be further apart.”

Gainor worked with Jon Buscemi at Gourmet, before starting No. One, and his brand carries the same vibe of exclusivity paired with an even deeper emphasis on craft. The experience at the brand’s Venice Beach HQ is mostly bespoke — with no real showroom to speak of. The windows facing Lincoln Boulevard are frosted, and lettering on the door reads “By appointment only.” If you’re buying No. One shoes, you know why you’re there.

No. One / Uproxx

The silhouette of Gainor’s sneakers feels classic, something like the Adidas Samba — allowing the designer and his team to focus on the build of each shoe and experiment with materials. Editions made of stingray skin, extra-rough suede, and zebra-printed pony skin have all sold out.

Just a few months into opening to the public (or at least the portion of the public that can drop a grand on a shoe), No. One is taking off. Part of this success is powered by a deep commitment to shoemaking and part is the love shown to the brand on social media. Celebrity fans like Kevin Durant sliding into No. One’s DMs creates a level of interest that seems unfathomable for a team of artisans producing 30 pairs of shoes per month.

This mix of old school techniques and modern marketing is the company’s sweet spot.

“There’s this really historical system here,” Gainor said, “but we also use technology — because we are a business in 2017. Those are our pillars.”



This post first appeared on Meet The Cast Of The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Porn Pa, please read the originial post: here

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What Does It Take To Be A Sneaker Craftsman?

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