Two things we often hear from creatives is the idea that ‘hybrid is the future’ and the power of the Do It Yourself generation. When it comes to Dominic Chambrone, better known as The Shoe Surgeon, we don’t just hear that talk, but rather we see the walk.
Making a name for himself over the course of the last nine years with his cut-and-sew customs and mash-up models, you could say he’s tearing up the sneaker game from the inside out. But in an industry dominated by corporate powers how does an individual creative truly take it to the next level? We caught up with Dominic at Agenda Long Beach to hear just that.
Nice Kicks: For readers that are new to The Shoe Surgeon brand, tell us what it entails and how it came about.
The Shoe Surgeon: My name is Dominic Chambrone and I go by The Shoe Surgeon. It’s a brand that I created from making shoes, customizing shoes, building brands and prototype sampling.
Nice Kicks: When did your custom work begin?
The Shoe Surgeon: I would say high school. I started by customizing Nikes and it led to me being able to create my own shoes from scratch.
Nice Kicks: Your work with John Geiger has garnered a lot of attention. How did that relationship start?
The Shoe Surgeon: John Geiger and my relationship started from me doing some Jordans for him. He’s willing to do some different things. Instead of looking at what everyone else is doing, he has ideas that he’s looking to bring to life as well.
Nice Kicks: For two young creatives like you and John, what are the challenges of bringing your ideas to life at a larger scale?
The Shoe Surgeon: The challenge would be trying to compete with manufacturers, but I’m becoming a manufacturer in the United States from customizing to actual, full-on limited runs. I think it’ll be fun.The Shoe Surgeon x John Geiger “Misplaced Checks” Air Force 1 Custom
Nice Kicks: In regard to upcoming work, will we see more hybrid work from you or more original silhouettes?
The Shoe Surgeon: I feel like the hybrid is very popular because a lot of the people that are following and watching want to see basic and easy things done. But from what I have coming, it’s going to be a lot more handmade, created from the ground up shoes that are built to last and fit good, as well as building my own silhouettes.
Nice Kicks: With sneakers being at peak popularity and lots of following going on in the industry, how important is it to be disruptive?
The Shoe Surgeon: Disruptive is definitely key to stand out. To not follow trends and to make the trends is the key.
Nice Kicks: In terms of new trends or off-trend movements, what do you see as next?
The Shoe Surgeon: Custom soles.
Nice Kicks: Lastly, what can we expect next from The Shoe Surgeon?
The Shoe Surgeon: I’m starting to do a lot of boots and American made sneakers in very limited runs of my own silhouettes. Something that tells a story instead of looking like a Nike.