SoJones.com loves fresh and original ideas when it comes to streetwear gear, just like most streetwear fans out there. Today the spotlight’s on Philadelphia’s Casey Custom Sneakers and SoJones.com got the chance to talk to its creator, Pat Casey, about his hot custom sneakers, established back in 2007.
S [SoJones] How did you come up with Casey Custom Sneakers?
PC [Pat Casey] I started out customizing my own sneakers just painting and airbrushing Philadelphia sports teams on my sneakers and wearing them around my neighborhood. Friends started asking me to make them there own pairs and there friends were asking them where they got them and so on. Pretty much it started from word of mouth and the word just took off.
S: What inspired you to customize sneakers instead of, say, creating a clothing line?
PC: It was pretty simple, I cant stand having the same sneakers as other people. It sucks being out with friends or hanging out at a party and you think you have the latest sneakers out and someone else shows up wearing the same pair you have. It happened one to many time to me and that’s when I decided I’m designing my own pair that no one else is going to have. The clothing business is just whack, the sneaker business is kind of the same way too, I mean if ya ever really take a look at it all these brands do is copy off one another. There is nothing original about their work. They are all swagger jacking off one another. For me that’s not the way I work, that’s not my style, I’m into designing products no one is doing or just don’t know how to do. I don’t follow trends, I’m the guy that starts them.
S: Do you have designers now, or are you doing the customizations yourself?
PC: I am the only designer right now. Every sneaker you ever see made was made by me. I do have three other people that help run the company and that’s what makes it where I can be the only designer for now.
S: What was your first ever customization?
PC: I airbrushed a pair of Philadelphia Eagles Nike af1 sneakers. I designed the logos on the sides and I designed a green bandana pattern on the front and back heels. I made them to match my Eagles jersey.
S: What’s the hardest customization you’ve ever done? Any stories behind it?
PC: Honestly they are all hard. It’s not like your designing on a $2.00 t-shirt you can just throw away and start on a new one if there is a mistake. It takes alot of time and patience.
PC: The rapper The Game and the guys from the hip hop group La Coka Nostra, especially Danny Boy and Everlast. The rapper The Game found out about me from word of mouth through his producer Nu Jerzey Devil. The Game whole crew ordered a ton of custom Chuck Taylors. Danny Boy and Everlast found me on the Internet and I made them a buch of custom La Coka Nostra sneakers.
PC: I’ll be honest with ya, I really don’t care about working with celebrities or public figures. If they come my way that’s dope but I’m not going out of my way to look for anyone to wear them. I think the everyday person who buys my sneakers gives me a better feeling because I know when they are spending there money on my product that they really appreciate what they are getting. Do to the nature of your question though if I were to make a pair for a celebrity I would say either Kristin Kreuk or Lauren Conrad. The reason why is they are hot looking girls that seem down to earth!
S: You’re now designing on Nike’s and Converse. Will there be other shoes coming in the future?
PC: I can design on any style sneakers. The Nike and Converse just seem to be the more popular and best looking once they are complete.
S: What’s the most sought after designs?
PC: There is really not a specific design people get. Usually when people come to me to have a sneaker designed, they are trying to have a product that no one else will have. That’s the way I like too, I think its more unique for the customer to know he or she is the only one in the world to own this piece of work.
S: What do you recommend for first-time wearers? What should we look out for next season?
PC: When ya order a pair get something that best fits your personality. If you get something like that you will definitely appreciate them more. For the future expect everything. I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not even going as hard as I really can on the sneakers yet. I’m saving all my skills for when the time is really right. Right now I’m sitting back and just watching other customizers and major sneaker brands copy my style. I know that for a fact too because the amounts of e-mails and phone calls I get from them. What people don’t understand yet is what I’m about to do in the future is going to be much bigger then just this sneaker game!
S: How do one take care of one’s customized sneaks? Can we wash the customized shoes?
PC: Treat the sneakers how you would treat any other pair. As long as you wear them on the right occasions you should be fine, meaning that don’t wear them in a rainstorm or when its snowing. You can wash them but hand wash them. Remember it is paint your dealing with. If you get them soaked then the paint could run or come off. Like I said just treat them right and they will last you. Just because they are custom made does that mean they will be perfect forever, unless you just keep them on display and there are a lot of people who told me they do that.
S: Can customers hand their own designs to you? How much will it cost them?
PC: Yes, customers can create the sneaker however they would like to have the sneaker look like and we can make it come to life. Mostly what customers do is just give me a theme and let me do my thing and creative. I try not to go over $200 for my sneakers, I want to keep them as affordable as possible. All prices include sneakers, shipping and time to make.
S: Your business is going global, which country takes the most interest in your shoes?
PC: Judging by where were shipping sneakers to each week I would say United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and Japan. They are just the more popular countries we get order from on a regular basis.
S: Any plans to expand your business in the future?
PC: I have been get offers about that but I’m still pretty new to the game. Right now I’m sitting back just observing things and watching how people react to what I’m doing. When the time is right I will expand and I will use my skills to there full potential but for not I’m just on cruise control.
Currently endorsing a new up and coming hip hop group, La Coka Nostra -which dropped their debut album on July 14th 2009 called “A BRAND YOU CAN TRUST”, Casey Custom Sneakers is kickin’ it high with other original custom designs. To see the full collection go to www.caseycustomsneakers.com but below are the SoJones-approved designs: