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Can We Kick It?

When a phenomenon emerges for which there is no name, the public conversation flails around in a desperate attempt to find appropriate words to describe it. Watching this happen is a lot like watching a strange sport from another country – it looks unsettling and kind of funny, but it’s also weirdly compelling; an impending language disaster that is impossible to turn away from.

The rise of the Shoe Surgeon has attracted a variety of labels – early on “bootlegger” gave way to “cobbler” before things settled into more sensible territory with “designer”, “sneaker customizer”, and – finally – “artist”.

While funny, the initial confusion is understandable. Dominic Ciambrone – the man now known as the Shoe Surgeon – has created a new medium.

His creativity within the sneaker and custom fashion culture is extreme. While his one-of-one designs (which sell to people like Drake and Odell Beckham Jr.) riff on silhouettes and colorways made famous by big-name labels like Nike, Dominic brings something to his shoes that make them entirely other. They are both part of and comment upon the footwear cult – a post-modern homage to the idea of individual style and luxury.

Through his regular four-day classes known as Shoe Surgeon Shoe School, Dominic and his team share practical skills in sneaker making and their enthusiasm for true creativity and craftsmanship with anyone who signs up. Next month, they’re holding the next edition of Shoe School here at the LINE and we’ve got a special room rate available for those going along.

For those suffering, because they’re not on the attendee list, we feel you. So, please join us in living vicariously through this chat that Full Service Radio had with Dominic –

Photography provided by Shoe Surgeon.