masterclass on upcycling skills with the shoe surgeon
The Shoe Surgeon built his mark of custom sneakers from opening up OG designs & making something fresh yet premium — like our collaborative custom of the AJ11. More than that, he and his team are set to amplify a community of creators, like their former-student & [metcha originals] interviewee Gabriel Gonzalez.
The Shoe Surgeon Shoe School makes education, mentorship & creative exploration part of the customization DNA. As Dominic Ciambrone, founder of TSS, told us in an exclusive Q&A, "everyone could just buy something off a shelf. So why not create something unique?". And nothing more unique than sneakers crafted in class by your own hands with premium materials (yes, you make yours and take them home).
They teach crafting with the oldest material ever used: leather. This close connection with traditional shoemaking teaches students good habits of handling leather with timeless techniques — like how to cut leather strategically, place all the pieces, trace the first, and nest them closely.
This type of learning is the must base to create a sneaker of your own. As they say, "fresh comes from within", so living the process is the first step for doing something never seen before. Just like Michael Jordan worked more than anyone in the room before being the MJ we know.
Speaking of fresh, The Shoe Surgeon team are big advocates for recycling and reducing waste. The many leather options of each class — color, texture, weight, print, and size — come from their drive of creating new beautiful things with every material possible. Even scraps that normally get thrown out.
Those good habits of handling leather that we talk about have helped them achieve this upcycling goal, but their Leather Scrap Mystery Box deserves a praise. A random selection of not used scraps are the main stars for experimenting with different types of leather while playing around with fascinating materials. Anyone can buy it.
The classes at SSSS end with a Student Lab challenge as a way to "help boost new creators and give them a larger platform to do so". The newbies or whoever is looking for new skills can enter their made-in-class sneaker into a voting pool that happens on the School's website. The winner design is recrafted and made available for buying for a limited time. Talk about a kick-start & a course-investment.
And if you think you need tons of industrial machines to get to a custom sneaker on the TSS level, they assure that you can do it all from home with the right set of tools & techniques. Bit of spoiler here: they're currently working on an online class with minimal tools. So stay tuned for that 👁.
See the result of The Shoe Surgeon's teachings in our exclusive custom METCHA \ TSS AJ XI Prototype @ our IG.
⚠️ Friendly reminder: a giveaway for the pair is happening 'til Oct 9th.
Check [metcha originals] for a new wave of creatives.