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There's a pretty good chance that if you buy Angelus paint for custom sneakers or shoe restoration, you've heard the name Mache. This is for good reason, because Dan Gamache, the proprietor of Mache Custom, is a legend in the custom sneaker world. Basically, if you can imagine a fully functioning custom business with celebrity clientele, news clips, and an insane portfolio—Mache's work is the blueprint for that.

While he's always putting out something wild, like custom cleats for the (entire) Minnesota Vikings, some of his work lately has been a unique to say the least. Basically, the tag #customsthatdontlookcustom has been the calling card for his custom work that isn't over top or more art than function. Instead, his work looks like something that would have come off the production line at the Nike or adidas factories, boxed up, and sent to the hot sneaker boutique.

It's a unique to see something that looks 'official,' or made by the design team at your favorite sneaker company, that's completely from the mind of one person. This more minimal approach to custom sneakers is less about getting the most paint on the upper or doing a crazy design, but focusing on the minor details.

There's no question that Mache can turn out a crazy design, but the less-is-more approach has been working out well. So why not pick up a Starter Kit and see what you can do with only two colors. Be sure to tag #customsthatdontlookcustom and #angelusdirect so we can see your work!


Angelus Direct Presents: An Q&A with SneakerHeadInTheBay

This Sunday (Feb. 12) the Hella Kicks trade show returns to the Bay Area, and we're doing a giveaway to kick things off. If you live in the area, check out what's hot, trade some sneakers, and check out the Meet & Greet our two favorite vloggers, SneakerHeadInTheBay and Davidgotkicks are doing.
YouTube personality and customizer extraordinaire, Alex, better known as SneakerHeadInTheBay was kind enough to do a quick Q&A with us before the weekend gets under. Simply saying SiNTB is a popular vlogger does do his channel justice. The  SiNTB subscriber list is massive at  440,000, so if you're trying to get into the vlogging game, this is the guy to watch! If you haven't checked out his videos, you should probably hit that subscribe button.
(Source: @ sneakerheadinthebay)
Angelus Direct: The custom sneaker world knows you as SneakerHeadIntheBay. Can you give us a little about your background and how you got into custom work? 
SiNTB: I am originally from the Bay Area, which is why I tried to incorporate where I'm from in my name. I grew up as an only child, and eventually found my passion for sneakers in middle school. During that same time, I realized that YouTube could be a really fun pastime for me since I had all the time in the world at a young age. I studied other sneaker YouTubers at the time to see how they created their videos and then practiced it on my own!
What are some of your main creative inspirations as a vlogger? 
I really enjoy cinematic breaks and smooth transitions after talking clips. I try my best to capture great b-roll to incorporate over my main clips to add another level on top.
(Source: @sneakerheadinthebay)
Your channel is killing it right now. Did you think your vids would be as popular as they are? What got you into making videos?
I never thought my videos would be as popular as they are today. I still cannot believe it... My main inspiration for creating videos stemmed from watching my peers and people I look up to in the YouTube community.
​Hella Kicks 2 is coming up this weekend, and you're doing a meet and greet. How did that come together?
I have a great relationship with the event organizers, so we thought it would be a great idea to have a meet and greet for those who enjoy the content I create. 
(Source: @TheFixKicks)
Lastly, any advice for the young customizers and YouTube personalities out there getting started?
As far as advice goes, I would recommend newer personalities to find their true self, and start pushing content on a consistent basis when they find their true self. People need to find new ways to twist what is already available in the market to show that they are different. This will help them stand out. Have fun, and keep pushing! 
(Source: @sneakerheadinthebay)

Cement Print, "Is It the Shoes?"

A good design will always find it’s place in history, and when it comes to Air Jordan’s this has rung true again and again. If you were to drop the phrases “Royal” or “Bred” to the average sneakerhead and they will probably picture of the Air Jordan 1. If you were to casually mention the phrase “cement print,” it’s likely the Air Jordan III will come to mind. First seen on the Air Jordan III, cement print, sometimes called elephant print (there’s really no difference), has become one of Nike’s most recognizable patterns.

Like most early Jordan releases, the Air Jordan III was spearheaded by a creative advertisement aimed at getting the average consumer to buy a pair of Jordan’s signature Nikes. A significant part of the marketing campaign designed around this shoe was a series of short, but now memorable commercials featuring seminal filmmaker Spike Lee. In these commercials, Jordan is praised by a character by the name of Mars Blackmon (played by Lee), leading to the catchphrase, “Is it the shoes?” By combining film culture and sneaker culture,  played a part in Jordan’s transformation from sports star to pop culture figure.

In the realm of basketball, Jordan was a beast during the 87-88 NBA season, but that was only half the appeal of the shoes. To put it into perspective, Jordan took the All-Star MVP and the won the Slam Dunk contest that year, so Jordan’s meteoric rise would be definitely be a topic for avid basketball fans. Yet, Jordan still had an appeal to more mainstream audiences through his media visibility. By pairing him with Lee’s character Mars, who originally appeared in the 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It, Jordan’s persona entered the realm of pop culture.

While the Mars Blackmon commercials are still significant in pop culture, one of big takeaway from the Air Jordan III was the “elephant print” color way that lined the toe box. Like many of Nike’s other groundbreaking designs that came before and would come after the AJ III, the overall design and color way of the sneaker came from the mind of seminal designer Tinker Hatfield. As the myth goes, Hatfield was inspired by elephant skin, amongst other things, when he designed this shoe; it was actually his first for the Jordan line.

In terms of global significance, one could argue that the elephant/cement print was eclipsed by the globally recognized “Jumpman logo.” This is probably true, but the cement print itself has been widely recreated, remixed, and applied to a wide variety of sneakers, clothing, and art. Aesthetically speaking, a Jumpman logo isn’t always going work on a pair of sneakers, but the print always looks clean when done correctly.

It takes a steady a hand to create your own cement/elephant print, but with Angelus Empty Paint Markers, you can. A paint marker is exactly what it sounds like—an empty capsule, that when filled with paint, turns into market. Our Empty Paint Markers are made specifically for Angelus Brand Acrylic Leather Paint, so the whole process is geared toward making your custom sneakers look fantastic. For those still learning, we made a How To video so you can make your own cement print, and have people asking, “is it the shoes?”

New Year New Giveaway from Angelus Direct

It’s that time of year again—we having a giveaway contest! Last December, the #angelusdirect community killed it for our 12 days of giveaways, so we thought we’d kick off 2017 with another contest. This time around, we’ve collaborated with our friends TheFixKicks.com for a $500 giveaway just in time for Hella Kicks 2. We’re each kicking in a $250 gift card to our stores, so you could grab a rare pair of sneakers from The Fix Kicks and boatload of custom sneaker and shoe care products from us.

Of course, if you won the options are pretty much endless on both sites. Just think, if you haven’t yet, you could snag a pair of Foams at The Fix and the complete Angelus Standard 81 Color Kit us, and still have money to grab an Easy Cleaner. The Fix Kicks is the Bay’s premier sneaker shops that gives you the fix you need when you missed out on the original drop, so $250 to their site is guaranteed to get you some fire. Just one more reason to check enter the giveaway, check out their store, and pop in to Hella Kicks in three weeks.

(Source: TheFixKicks)

In case you missed the last one, Hella Kicks is a sneaker trade show held in San Jose, CA put on by the two of the Bay Area’s prominent sneaker mainstays: The Fix Kicks and Bay Area Got Sole. Since the Last Kicks was such a hit, they’re throwing another one on Sunday Feb. 12, 2017 from 11am-5pm at 100 N. 27th St. San Jose, Ca. 95116. If you’re a sneakerhead and you live in the Bay Area, go hang out. There will be three customizers, @AdriansCustoms, @JustWinCustoms, @Sean_Flores doing their thing. Plus, our favorite Bay Area YouTube personalities @SneakerheadInTheBay and @DavidGotKicks will be on site for Meet & Greet, so be sure to say what’s up.

So if you haven’t yet, you have three weeks to drop in a couple entries. The best part is that there are multiple ways to enter, and by multiple we mean 11. These are all pretty simple too: follow The Fix Kicks and us on Instagram, subscribe to SneakerHeadInTheBay and DavidGotKicks YouTube channels, easy stuff like that. Basically, if you love sneakers and custom sneakers, we’re doing a giveaway for linking yourself up with a great sneaker store, some funny dudes, and referring your friends. 

Why You Need Shoe Trees

You may have noticed we were giving away Angelus Shoe Trees last month. While this is a relatively simple shoe care accessory, to the point that you might skip getting a pair, it’s definitely the MVP if you really cherish your footwear collection.

So let’s talk about the necessities for keeping your footwear nice. Back in the day, every person who owned a decent pair of shoes also owned a shoe horn and some kind of leather conditioner. These items were necessary if you wanted to keep your shoes, which were probably leather, for a long time.  Of course, people have more than one pair of shoes now and they’re made from different materials. While you should still keep some kind of conditioner, water repellent, and cleaner on deck, you can probably do away with the shoe horn. There are other ways to keep your sneakers in good shape—shoe trees.

One of the most important items to use when it comes to shoe care is a shoe tree. These have been around a long time, and for a good reason. A shoe tree is a much needed item that doesn’t get as much notice as it should. Essentially, shoe trees are all about maintaining the integrity of whatever you’re wearing on your feet—be it sneakers, boots, dress shoes, and so on (not sandals though, for obvious reason).

As you may have noticed, the size of your sneaker changes over time. If you wear a pair often, they’re going to get stretched out as the lining slowly breaks down. This isn’t a rapid thing, but having a shoe tree inside when they’re not being worn helps maintain the toe box so it doesn’t crease or indent.

The other way sneakers change, and this might sound strange, is they get smaller. That’s real, smaller! Basically, if leather isn’t actively used it will tighten up; if your shoes are leather, they’ll do the same. This is big for all you for collectors out there. You might be sitting on some heat, but they could get tighter over time. To combat this, you would need to either wear them, condition your leather shoes to the leather supple, or pop in a pair of adjustable Angelus Shoe Trees and maintain the correct size.

(Source: @davidgotkicks)

Angelus Shoe Trees were made with sneakerheads in mind. When they’re not keeping your sneakers in shape, they’re a great tool to have on hand when customizing, painting, or restoring. So if you haven’t done so yet, get a pair. Your sneakers will thank you!