Have you ever doodled on your shoes? Aaron Firestein loved sketching on his shoes so much he turned it into a business. While in college, Firestein started drawing on his canvas sneakers, posting the pictures of his creations to Facebook. People quickly took notice of the shoes, and Firestein started selling custom versions to ‘friends, friends of friends, and then even complete strangers.’
That was back in 2007. Fast-forward to 2012, and Firestein has transformed his college-dorm room business into a global art project called BucketFeet. After college, Firestein moved to Argentina and continued to sell his shoes. He was asked to take part in a photo-project in Brazil that highlighted the art in local slums, and through this project, he realized the connective power of art. From this experience, he and his friend Raaja were inspired to create a business that would give a voice to artists around the world and help connect different groups of people through art.
Vidaboa, designed in Rio de Janeiro by Ment
The team chose footwear as the medium for expression; BucketFeet currently employs 20 street artists from around the world (the roster includes artists from the likes of Uruguay and Nigeria to London and Thailand) to create custom shoe designs. Each artist is paid $250 for their designs, and receives a royalty of $1 for every pair of shoes sold. Bucketfeet also makes a donation to one of three selected charities for every shoe purchased.
CTCM, designed in Oakland by Meryl Rose Phillips
Each shoe features a brief inspiration quote from the designer, and all of the shoes are created in limited-edition runs– so beyond the custom design, the sneakers really are one-of-a-kind. Headlining the current artist roster at BucketFeet is Scott Wilson, former Creative Director at Nike and the founder of MNML Studios. His collection, Skulz, is available for pre-order and will ship in October.
Check out some more of the designs at BucketFeet below, and visit their site here to see the entire collection. Which ones are your favorite?