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” I’m not just working on shoes, I’m working on family heirlooms, footwear that will last long after I’m gone.”

Every once in a while in this world of sneakers, a customizer will deliver a creation that further breeches the creative boundaries of their craft. Enter 26-year-old trained cobbler Randy Lucas. Last week the Arizona native served up a Nike Huarache runner and Minnetonka Moccasin fusion that any true footwear connoisseur could appreciate. However talents like his don’t come easy and this young man has been steadily honing his craft over the last decade to attain his skills. Being a third generation cobbler he definitely displays a knack for pushing the limits of his creativity and the vast array of creations on his instagram page are proof of his belief that ‘footwear can be pieces of art’. It’s this ethos that has courted the attention of Dominic Chabrone, Mike Fite, Vintage Artisan amongst a slew of others.

But as much as his work has awed and intrigued many, it also threw up some questions in regards to the creative mind behind this hybrid, so we managed to sit down with Randy to get an understanding of his history, creative process as well as his forthcoming creations.

CJ: Give me some history on yourself.

Randy: “My name is Randy Lucas and I was born and raised in Arizona. I started in the shoe repair business 10 years ago with my godfather at the age of 16 and fell in love with the craft. I love working with my hands and about two years ago I started creating unique footwear for local customers and now throughout the whole world.”

CJ: What prompted you follow in your family’s footsteps to become a cobbler?

Randy: “We all joke around and say it’s in my blood but I grew up around the business and always had a special interest for shoes and fixing things. Seeing my dad, uncle and godfather at the shop always behind on orders just made me want to learn the work quickly so I could help at the shop. I was naturally good at it and fell in love with the accelerated atmosphere.”

CJ: How did the idea to fuse the Nike Huarache with a moccasin come about?

Randy: “The idea came from a long time follower of my work, Keith Andrews, a graphic designer from Tennessee who had done a photo shop rendering of this a couple years back. He always loved both silhouettes of the Minnetonka Moccasins and the Nike Huaraches so he contacted me to see if the combination could be done while keeping a natural look. I do have a long waiting list for a number of projects but I was also very interested in seeing how this would turn out, so I worked overtime to make this a reality.”

CJ: Technically how difficult was it to pull off?

Randy: “It was a pretty tricky project. The Huarache sole is a very soft composition, so I have to be very careful in pulling it all apart. Once that was done, we have a tool we use a lot in the shoe repair business called a naumkaeg, like a round trimmer, that I used to clear up any residue left from the upper and give it the shape it needs to take on the moccasins properly. From there it was just marking it up right and attaching them both together. I was very satisfied with the results.”

CJ: How many prototypes did you have to go through to create the Huaraches?

Randy: “I had only one shot to get it right. So I went about it very carefully. I was very timid when it came to the contact cement part, but it all worked out at first contact.”

CJ: Being a third generation cobbler what has been your family’s response to your creations?

Randy: “They support this 100%, sometimes they don’t get the ideas, and neither do I at times, but it’s fun to make concepts a reality. My dad calls me a ‘Modern Cobbler’ with all the custom repairs and modifications I’ve done.”

CJ: Did the response to your recent creation surprise you?

Randy: “Surprised? I was dumbfounded (laughs). I woke up to hundreds of emails, text from clients and people I know in the footwear industry, hundred of new followers, comments and likes! I was featured on numerous blogs, websites, IG accounts and that’s something very new to me but in the end, I’m glad it brought attention to the craft of cobbling, which a lot say is a dying art.”

CJ: Does overall wear ability factor in to some of the shoes you create?

Randy: “Yes and no. With all the customers at the shop, the comfort and wear ability is a must. That’s why they come to have their shoes repaired, they want them to fit perfectly and they can’t or don’t want to replace them. Some of my clients with the custom/ modified projects don’t care how they wear/ feel, it’s all about the ‘wow’ factor first and then everything else second. Some want both but it’s all about the clients preference. I do make sure what I create will be around for a while. I was recently told that I’m not just working on shoes, I’m working on family heirlooms, footwear that will last long after I’m gone.”

CJ: Is there a particular creative process to how you approach each project?

Randy: “Honestly it all depends on the client. I’ll get a feel of what they will be using the shoes for, the reaction they want to receive and at the end how much creative freedom they give me with the concept/idea. It’s usually a lot because I work on hundreds of shoe repairs each week at the shop and they trust that I know what will work and look best for there project.”

CJ: Are there any other sneaker customisers out there that you admire and if so who?

Randy: “Yes there is, the biggest one I look up to is Dom, the Shoe Surgeon. We have a very cool relationship going on about two years now. I show him what I’m working on, what ideas I have and he gives me his input. His advise is something I really appreciate and the craft he does, well there really is no word to describe it other than one of a kind pieces of art made by one bad ass cobbler!”

CJ: Seeing some of the shoes you’ve created how would you describe your overall style?

Randy: “My dad calls me a Modern Cobbler. I repair shoes but with a twist, or modern take.”

CJ: Would call yourself a sneaker head?

Randy: “I was, but once I started here at the shop 10 years ago, that stopped. Any shoes I would wear here at the shop were guaranteed to get stained. Plus I would spend all my time here, not really going out anymore, but if I still could, I would. I might go back to it once I schedule everything right, because all I really wear are sneakers.”

CJ: So what do you have in your collection?

Randy: “I love collecting shoes and even though I don’t wear dress shoes, I have a closet full of  them, along with all the sneakers. I have three favorites that I did for myself a long time ago, before all this. Third place goes to my Red Coated Canvas Sk8 Hi’s which I added whitetail deerskin leather to the Jazz stripe and thick leather laces to match. Second place goes to my Black Pebble Grain Vintage Flourshiems Imperials. I restored the upper and added a Chippewa Construction wedge sole. They are truly my favourite dress shoe design I’ve created and it’s my bread and butter, I get asked to do that one a lot. First place goes to my Black and White Nike Free 5.0s. I wear them everyday, they are all messed up because they are my shop shoes but because of the comfort level being high, they are my top favourite. They keep me going.”

CJ: What are some of the other fusions that are working on?

Randy: “I have a couple in the works. Can’t say too much about them but in the mix are some Sperrys, Air Maxes and Jordan’s in the sneaker side and Aldens, Flourshiems and Redwings on the dress up side. They are all in for some very unique but subtle changes so stay tuned for that.”

CJ: What’s one thing you want people to know about you and your craft?

Randy: “That the craft is still alive and that there is a good handful of us still out there that take this job very serious. Hopefully the newer generations find interest in this craft, not just the sneaker part, but everything that goes along with it. A lot of cobbler shops are closing up and sometimes its not lack of business, it’s lack of interest to keep the craft going.

I’m Randy the Cobbler, I repair/ modify shoes with a modern twist.”

You can see more of Randy’s work here

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CREPJUNKIE TV

CHICKEN CONNOISSEUR: FORGOTTEN NIKE AIR MAX PLUS TN MODEL’S

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Chicken Connoisseur with The Nike Air Max Plus TN

 

The Chicken Connoisseur sat down with us to discuss the cultural phenomenon that is the  Nike Air Max Plus. The model more commonly know by ‘TN’ or Tuned Air, was designed by Sean McDowell and has elevated to a cult-like status within the sneaker scene has long been documented since its launch back in 1998. The forward-thinking design, multi-layered upper, and the beloved ‘sky sole’ set the trend for that era and laid the foundations for various Nike releases that came after.

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Chicken Connoisseur

For those of you that have been sleeping under a rock, Elijah Quashie rose to fame back in December 2016 when his Youtube series The Pengest Munch rose to viral fame. The Tottenham natives video reviews of London chicken shops take a Gregg Wallace review approach and blends it with London slang, humor, and style. The self-proclaimed ‘food critic for the tandem’ regularly reviews some of London’s many Chicken shops scoring the food quality out of 5.

Check out his ‘What’s In My Trainer Collection’ episode HERE

 

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NOVELIST: WHAT’S IN MY TRAINER COLLECTION?

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Novelist's Trainer Collection

While many know that Lewisham born grime emcee Novelist, has bars in abundance, not many people know that he also has a serious line up of creps in abundance. In this episode of ‘What’s In My Trainer Collection,’ the young wordsmith sat down with us to discuss his relationship with Nike over the years, his trip to the Nike HQ with Skepta, as well as some of the key pieces in his collection.

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Novelist

While his collection features some choice Nike Air Max 95’s, the “Pay What Is Owed” MC also gives us a look at his Nike Air Spiridon’s Roundel and his involvement with Roundel. The highlight of the video has to be his Air Jordan 4 Kaw’s that resale for a hefty price., 

Check back soon for part 2 of Novelist ‘What’s In My Trainer Collection?

 

 

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KRANIUM: WHATS IN MY TRAINER COLLECTION?

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Kranium's Trainer Collection

Dancehall singer Kemar Donaldson AKA Kranium, sits down with us to share some key pieces from his collection during his UK visit. The “Nobody Has To Know” singer says his trainer game has stepped up since his career took off. Check which kicks he’s currently feeling and which ones are his go- to creps.

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