In west Philadelphia, born and raised… just kidding. Born in Scotland, and residing the majority of my life in Orlando, FL, I grew up watching MJ dominate every domain of the NBA game. Being a huge fan of His Airness went hand-in-hand with admiring and craving the latest pair of Air Jordan sneakers. While I looked at the art and beauty of the Tinker-crafted footwear, my parents seemed to only notice the price tags. It was a while before I got to wear my first pair of “Jumpmans”, specifically and fortuitously, the original AJ XI in the black/white/red colorway. Once in high school and earning my own money, I was finally able to feed my addiction. I started off with a Retro pair of AJ V’s in the white/silver colorway (which I still own today, destroyed). I found the sneaker forum NIKETALK and began broadening my sneaker horizons to Nike Skateboarding and other Nike Basketball products.
How I Started Customizing Sneakers
In 2003, Nike SB released what is still one of their greatest sneakers, the Heineken Nike Dunk Lows. This was a highly coveted release and for the first time, I was unable to obtain a sneaker I genuinely wanted. Even Heineken themselves were asking for all the sneakers to be pulled from skate shops, eBay, wherever anyone was selling them, but it was too late because they were already sold out, everywhere. So ultimately, it was a lost cause to reasonably obtain a pair. Even today, an authentic pair eludes my collection. So browsing through the forums, I stumbled across the Customizing section where the likes of Methamphibian and SBTG and KVN and Triumvir were posting their sickly painted designs. Some people were also starting to put fabric on their sneakers as well. I really liked the idea of fabric customizations, and since I was unable to get a pair of the Heinekens, I decided I’d try my hand at making a denim Nike Dunk Low with the Heinekens as an inspiration. The result was better than expected and when I posted them, people started asking me to make pairs for them as well. Someone even tried to steal my pictures from NIKETALK and post them on a new sneaker forum, Sole Collector, pretending to be me.
I found Sole Collector to be a much cleaner, organized, and content-rich forum, so I transitioned over there where I was constantly involved with the betterment of their Customizing forum. Sole Collector started putting on sneaker competitions in 2005 and into 2006. I was fortunate enough to attend the Miami event where I gained notoriety for customizing a pair of sneakers while waiting in line, the first version of the Digicamo Nike Dunk Lows.
Red Ribbon Reconstruction
In 2006, I flew to Seattle where I was invited to compete in the Sole Collector event under the customizing category against the local area heavy hitters Above the Clouds and emmanueLabor. I was fortunate enough to win and was invited to compete in the Sole Collector Finals in Las Vegas later in the year. To my knowledge, this was the first time anyone had exhibited a fully reconstructed sneaker but unfortunately, I fell runner-up to the customizing whizkid, C2 Customs. From this experience, I decided to establish Red Ribbon Reconstruction (or 3R, for short). Since 2006, I’m proud to be continually evolving this craft by being one of the few sneaker customizers in the world that completely reconstructs sneakers and not using paint as my main medium. My mission is to never cease bringing fresh, innovative, stylish, creative, and amazing products to the sneaker and streetwear culture.
Over the years, I’ve received a lot of help to get from where I began and progress to where I am now. Thank you to you.
Adam Q, Adidas, Alex B, Andrew C, Andrew M, Angie S, Ashley S, Ben C, Brandon L, Chris M, Chris C, Clint S, Curtis B, Dad, Danny C, Don, Donna, Ellen, Emmanuel G, Face, George N, James S, Jeff G, John T, Julian N, Kelton M, Kevin B, Killian, Marcos, Mark, Matt, Mom, Nick D, Nike, Palmer, Paul, Phil R, Premium +, Ray A, Rich G, Shannie C, Shelly F, Sole Collector, Steph W, Steve M, Tim D, Tonio R, Tony, Trent T, Trina H, Troy H, Tweety, Two, Wil D.