For Thibault Davril, sneakers are more than just footwear, but rather a vehicle that can transport you to another world. The more you think about it, there’s almost something medieval and fantasy-like about the sneakers world. It’s full of frenzy, furor, and the absolute devoir to possess the best of the best. Even battling bots, hunting for holy grails, and hoping that you get the golden (raffle) ticket, all sound like something out of a storybook – at least that’s how it seems to Davril.
Looking at the sneakers from Davril Supply, right away you’re able to spot the fantasy themes that influence the brand’s aesthetic. Whether it’s playful colors, samurai swords, or fiery dragons, Davril Supply is a fantasy universe all its own – and that’s all Thibault Davril hopes to achieve.
At only 21-years-old, Thibault Davril is the wizard behind Davril Supply, which he started just around three years ago. Davril is located in the north of France where he attends a Textile Engineering school, which seems like a dream for a sneaker customizer. Davril began customizing sneakers in his free time while in school, but his ideas began much before that.
“When I was young, I was always creating stuff on CAO programs like Cinema 4D. With time and discovering new things, I started creating and customizing shoes,” said Davril. “I discovered that with my softwares I can do everything I want. I had it in my head and [made] it ‘real.’ I mixed this with my sneakers hobby and Davril Supply was born.”
Unlike most, Davril’s infatuation with sneakers didn’t begin with a single pair. It wasn’t so much about the product as it was about the movement. He found himself fascinated with the culture surrounding sneakers and the community. It was something about the dynamism that made him want to learn more.
“I discovered an all new universe – the sneakers game. With all the artists, the drops, the collections, and also the hype around all that. I was really interested and wanted to add my own vision, and also my own universe.”
It all began when Davril was lucky enough to find two used pairs of Converse for 10 €. He took them home and split one of the pairs in half to make a space-themed shoe. Oddly enough, Davril’s Instagram bio reads, “TO THE MOON,” making for a full circle moment back to where he started.
“That was my first try and attempt to create something,” said Davril. “I didn’t know where I was going, but I liked what I created.”
Although Davril’s artistry has evolved, his process is still the same. He doesn’t feel anchored to any particular idea when he starts. He just begins and sees where the process takes him. With proper time and experimentation, Davril decides if his idea is good enough to develop as a real product.
“I want to give my own vision of a sneaker. Put what I have in my head in reality. All my inspirations, my ideas, and what I like on a shoe. It’s like a painter with a white canvas. I have a playground to express myself, but without the limitation that it needs to stay a basic shoe.”
Davril is self-taught and originally began designing sneakers for himself, but was able to develop his customs by making pairs for his friends. His way of thinking has changed, with his aspirations only getting bigger. But at the end of the day, he hopes to create sneakers that his friends are proud to wear, and the response to his designs show that he’s a champion for his supporters.
“I’ve got a big request from our community. And also, a Davril universe to create and build with time. Everything is going completely crazy. Artists that I’m listening to want my creations for drip. It’s insane.”
The French designer also makes other items like apparel and accessories, but Davril’s focus on sneakers is to create the impossible. He often makes renders that have animated themes and futuristic fixtures. He credits anime from the 80’s and 90’s as a big source of inspiration for his designs.
“I put my interest in the small details of everything I do,” said Davril. “I think about what someone will never do in real life. I do all my stuff to the maximum and try to push the limits of what people consider impossible.”
Projects like his Air Force 1 Low “Tank” show his ability to take a sneaker and apply a playful twist to it. Meanwhile his Davril One sneaker shows that he can come back down to Earth and create something classic. For the ultimate showcase of his abilities, the Davril Skewer combines fantasy and reality by creating a sneaker that seems too good to be true.
“Through all my inspirations, I found a very inspiring man that [understands] imagination and [makes it] real. It was a challenge for me to put 3D [swords] on a pair of shoes, but it’s good for the future and shows again that we can push back the limits of what is already possible.”
When looking back on his work, it’s hard for Davril to pick a favorite. He believes that his current work is always his best work because his interests are always changing. He spends a lot of time researching how he can bring his ideas to life. Everything that he’s made so far is just a timeline of his path to mastery.
“Each creation that I’m doing is what I like for the moment. When I release it – and until the next one – that is the pair I like. But when I create a new one, my interests change because of new ideas and time passing. This way I’m able to create new stuff and also change my vision everyday. I always do my best in my work.”
As far as the future goes, Davril wants to continue to expand his universe and bring fantasy to life. Quite frankly, we need that, and it seems that the sneaker space is already headed that way. With creatives like Chitose Abe, Matthew M. Williams, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Salehe Bembury, and even the chaotic Kerwin Frost, it seems like anything is possible from this point forward. Independent designers like Thibault Davril, just may be what big brands need to push the boundaries even more. But for now, Davril Supply will give us our fantasy fix.
“I want to build a real universe and continue to develop my creativity,” said Davril. “For the moment, I will continue to create stuff for all my dudes, but I want to see many people with Davril Shoes in the street.”