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If you’re going really step up your Father’s Day game this year, then it better be custom, and it better be Adidas.
That’s what Kanye West and daughter North are getting this year, having been hooked up with their own kicks courtesy of Mache, one of the best sneaker customizers in the game. Upon request from West’s camp, Dan “Mache" Gamache made the rapper a pair of green Adidas Ultra Boosts with “Kanye West" spelled out in orange gothic font along the uppers. To celebrate North's third birthday, the customizer designed a pair of Adidas Superstars with pink and gold compasses that point north on the right shoe and west on the left.
The pairs are just two of Gamache’s many creations. As the man behind Mache Custom Kicks, Gamache specializes in re-imagining some of the beloved sneakers on the market by mashing up different pairs.
His Instagram is filled with his sliced and diced creations, like a pair of “Fleeboks” (a.k.a holographic Reeboks) he made for the rapper Cam’ron and Homer Simpson-inspired Adidas Ultra Boosts. He even re-created a pair of Purple Rain-themed Nike Air Max BW’s to commemorate Prince after his death.
Did up these two special pairs for #JackieRobinsonDay. the @nbbaseball pair up top is for @robinsoncano and the Jordans on the bottom are for @cc_sabathia52. Always nice to know that the @rocnation representatives playing in the BX tonight have their footwear on point. #customcleats #angelusdirect #whatproswear #jackie42
All it takes is an X-Acto knife and a little bit of imagination, he told Racked.
"I generally just dive in,” Mache said. “Many custom artists will do mock-up drawings, but I really just see where I'm going to go in my head. As for the process a magician never reveals his secrets. But in all honestly, the work was done with either paint or dye.”
Mache’s custom sneakers usually sell for around $1,000 and have been commissioned by everyone from LeBron James to Dwayne Wade. This isn’t the first time he’s created something for West, either: ‘Ye has inspired a number of one-off creations, like pink-soled Adidas Yeezy Boosts that look like the “Jasper” sneakers he designed in collaboration with Louis Vuitton back in 2009.
Today, Mache is once again drawing inspiration from the rapper, but this time, he went along and created something for little Nori as well.
“Like most sneaker and style-centric guys, it's always been an aspiration to do something official for Kanye,” Mache said. "To pair it with something special for North just makes it a little more personal for them instead of just doing something Kanye-inspired.”
As for the design?
“Kanye seems to wear Ultra Boosts when he's not wearing his signature Yeezys, so the model was a no brainer to me. I went with military green with black and hits of orange just to make something somewhat neutral and wearable for him,” Mache said. “For North, I wanted to get a little creative and do an all-over print with compasses.”
Mache also teamed up with the San Francisco-based tech company Chronicled on encrypted smart tags designed to differentiate the shoes from high-quality counterfeits — something Mache was motivated to develop after seeing his designs repeatedly knocked off. The encrypted tags each contain tiny chips that have unique, unforgeable profiles. Kanye and North’s shoes were the first outfitted with the technology.
“Technology is moving fast,” he said. “Someday soon you'll be able to run a legit check on all your new sneakers with two taps on your iPhone. Chronicled, or something like it, is definitely the future of this industry.”
Perhaps one-of-a-kind sneakers are too — at least, they’re the perfect gift for the man and child who probably have everything.