1. Who (are you?), What (do you for a living?), Where (do you live?)
Hello, My name is Roman, I am about 30 years old, I am a creative craftsman, I personalize sneakers and decorative objects.
I live in the south of France, but I am from Limoges in the center.
2. When did your love for sneakers start and why do you love sneakers so much?
I think like the vast majority of us, I loved shoes from childhood. I’m from the Michael Jordan generation, I wanted to play basketball like him (I was very bad), and the culture of sneakers and street wear was already very present.
But the prices were almost inaccessible, so it was always more of a dream than a reality. 3 models marked my childhood and adolescence more than the others, first the Reebok Classic (cw leather petrol), then the Nike Air Tailwind V (cw volt) and finally the Nike Air Tuned 3 (cw black and red).
But I really started to collect and take a deeper interest in sneakers a few years ago when I met my partner @nina.swoosh who already collected AM90s.
3. What’s your favorite brand and model?
It’s a surprise to anyone (those who already know me), but Nike and mainly the Air Max 1 are my favorites.
I don’t think I’m very objective about the brand, they just managed to hook me up with their sales techniques, but the AM1 is in my opinion the most emblematic and representative model of this brand, due to its history and its technology. Inconvenient of the time.
4. How many sneakers do you have in your collection?
I don’t know exactly, I stopped counting for a while, just because the last time I did it I was over 90, and I found it getting a bit much.
But there are sometimes pairs that I separate myself from, others that I double or that I triple, I myself cannot follow well where I am.
5. Why did you do the customization?
I have been working on this project for 4 years now. I started at the start pushed by @nina.swoosh to restore our pairs, but also to personalize them so that they are a little more original.
At first I only did it for myself and a few friends / family, then I started posting my designs on social media and other collectors became interested in my work.
When I felt ready to place orders for others, I took the plunge and today I have my business up and running.
6. What do you prefer to do in your job?
There are 2 things that I really like to do, the first is that I am told “do what you want” and to go on a total creation, the second is to ask me to reproduce a color released on a other model and adapt it.
I don’t just customize AM1s, but being a collector of this model, people are more inclined to ask me to work on this shape.
7. Do you have any inspirations?
Yes of course, whether I like it or not, as I said above, I am influenced by the brands and artists who are talked about.
But there are also independent artists and friends, not to mention them like @Theoze, who is someone very creative and extremely precise, @Staniflou boss of the custom of the Sacai.
But it does not stop only with the shoe itself, @kikiblini who is a creative with an overflowing imagination, @hed_win with an incredible talent on photoshop and comes out of completely crazy concepts, @lugand_s who offers shots and incredible atmospheres, displays from @ahbon.ai to embellish your interiors, @sneaknstring who begins to offer us beautiful paintings and goodies, the world of @lu___cien and its all kinds of goodies, drawings by @spencer.prod and @tykvle, photos by @na.tempura, videos by @byjifi and @tonton_gibs …
I have to stop at a point or else I’m going to quote 800 people, but these are really very interesting and inspiring people and content.
8. What’s your favorite pair from your collection?
It is impossible for me to answer this question exactly. I have a few pairs, some of which I like more than others, but selecting just one to put on top of the others is unthinkable.
But if I had to select several, in no particular order I would take Master of Air, Atmos Elephant Print, Patta Corduroy, Safari Size? Exclusive and the custom I made on the inspiration of the AJ1 Maison Chateau Rouge.
9. Which pair(s) are still on your wish list?
Pairs that I unfortunately never think I will ever acquire due to their current rating, I am thinking in particular of the Patta Purple Denim, the Parra Amsterdam or the Atmos Safari OG.
But I’m still looking for more affordable pairs like the Jewel Ruby, or some Pendleton from past ID programs.
10. Do you have a favorite sneakerstore or -shop?
If I have to name just one then it will be The Next Door, but there are also some very nice and welcoming stores like Act2, Corner Street, Opium, Shinzo and so on.
11. Which brand and / or model would you never wear in your life? And why is that?
Any. Simply because fashion evolves, so do my tastes and whether I like it or not, I remain influenced by the marketing of different brands.
It’s above all a passion for me, something positive in my life, so I don’t want to lock myself into something or wage a little war with people or brands just for a matter of taste, which are very subjective. If I like a collection tomorrow, regardless of the brand, I might buy it.
12. Which sneaker in your collection was the hardest to find/get?
There are a few pairs that were really not easy to find, but 2 in particular. The collab with Dave White (2005), a really rare pair, and I thank my friends who helped me find them.
And the collab with Dj Clark Kent, the 112 (2008), an incredible pair which unfortunately is not my size (WTB 8us)
13. What advice would you like to give to new sneakerheads?
I am no one in particular to advise others, I simply have more affinities with those who are driven by passion than those who are driven by gain.
But the more time passes and the more money takes up an important place, then we have to adapt.
14. What has been your biggest steal ever?
You will have noticed, I have trouble answering the question exactly, so I will give you 2 pairs instead of one, the first is the Flyknit “Obsidian” that I paid 12 € all in, my summer beater.
The second is a master which I paid 73 € all in. there are a few other pairs that i didn’t pay dearly, but also some that i paid resell so it balances out a bit ..
15. How much time a day / a week do you spend on “sneakers”?
It’s my job, it’s also my passion, a lot of my friends are also fond of the beast, so I think I talk about it all day. When I have to go out alone, I can take several tens of minutes to match my outfit to my pair.
Then I talk to my clients about their personalization projects, with my friends about upcoming releases, with my family about how my business works, so I think I spend a lot of time there.
16. How do your loved ones feel about your sneaker lifestyle?
Everyone respects that, some do not understand that we can put such prices in shoes, and I understand them myself, but nobody criticizes, on the contrary it arouses a lot of curiosity and positive discussions.
17. The final word?
Do what you love first, be yourself and have fun. Keep it positive, it’s a passion and sharing, not competition and cheap shots.
18. Where can people follow you on your socials?
You can find me mainly on instagram @roman_custom where I am most active, but I also have a “Roman Custom” facebook page where I share my creations.
Please feel free to join me if you like what I do. Thank you for reading me to the end.