What’s the fun if every custom sneaker you make looks exactly like the original base, with no new design characteristics added or removed? Well that is a completely open-ended question that will differ amongst every customizer…but most got into customizing for the desire to change a shoe to their liking. In reconstruction the concept for change is more possible than any other customizing medium. For the reconstructing JBF Customs this is his first alteration to the AJ VI base but not the first time he’s given the original elements his own spin outside of new materials.
Starting with the Air Jordan VI Olympic retro Jake of JBF Customs was commissioned by @Soleyghost for a completely reconned piece. Gone are the white and navy leather panels replaced by pieces of raw denim, the navy outside up on the lace panels and inside gray shade on the toe and mid panels. As you go towards the back a brown ostrich skin in a burnt sienna shade overcomes the tongue and heels. Fans of the Air Jordan line will notice the removal the AJ VI tongues, heel tabs, the perforations and stitching in the leather panels replaced for a more clean cut look that emphasizes the texture of the ostrich. Last details include the liners made with familiar brown lambskin and tongue tags engraved by @Absolelute.
The missing signature pieces of the AJ VI gave PaintOrThread a reason to get more insight from JBF for our readers:
PaintOrThread: You’ve made it clear on social media outlets you don’t really do “mockups” of your designs and want the customer to trust your vision…but this pair seems like there was at least a couple ways it could have gone….there could surely be a handful of variations of the material placement based on the variety. So how much did @Soleyghost have in the idea/design process or did you have creative freedom? Was there a point where you decided this layout instead of an other?
JBF: There’s multiple ways everything can be done, that’s the nature of.. Well life really…Ghost had zero involvement in the design process of these outside of choosing the Olympics as a base. I created these the way I did because it was a little more bold. I wanted that distinct contrast between the front and back of the shoes. You don’t see that on 6s, and I wanted to go out on a limb a bit more with these.
PorT: So do you prefer customers giving you free reign on the result, like “here is the base and money have fun!” or is some sort of direction better?
JBF: I like some freedom. Direction is good if client is particular or close minded. The more particular you are, the more direction you should give me.
PorT: You’ve done things in the past to put your own spin to the original base sneaker like different shaped Swooshes…or heel cut outs…but I think this waaay more of a design spin on the end structure this time. There are some key Air Jordan VI pieces missing from the design namely on the back: the tabs, ankle/bubble and perforations/stitching..AND the tongues are made completely more subtle lacking the rubber tops.
Is there something more to those VI characteristics being removed, a look or feel you were trying to achieve?
JBF: I can’t stand the heeltab or tongue on 6s, so it was a no brainer to get rid of those. As far as the bubbles and stuff – I wanted these to have a more casual, lifestyle feel to em. That stuff just didn’t make sense on these.
PorT: Ostrich has kind of a funny looking finish. Is there any preference to using that opposed to snakeskin? or were you guys just like…okay enough snakeskin…but lets still keep it exotic?
JBF: I think ostrich is dope, and it looks amazing with denim so… That’s why I used it.
PorT: Being your first VI…what was the worst part of this recon….or maybe something you found to be a process you look forward on the next pair of VI? Better or worse than the IV, III, I, etc?
JBF: They weren’t too bad to work on. A little trickier than those other models for sure though.
PorT: The more materials you use the more requests like WHERE CAN I GET THEM SKINS AT? you are probably getting. What’s your final answer to that question?
JBF: Hunting Expeditions to Asia and Africa.
PorT: Any hints on your next finished custom you make public? In one word if possible.
Thanks to Jake for taking time to answer some questions about this 1 of 1 custom. As always you can purchase his work and request your own at: www.JBFCustoms.com