After releasing photos of a 1 of 1 design a few weeks ago the team of John Geiger and The Shoe Surgeon had a small portion of the sneakerhead Interwebs in a frenzy over a pair of custom sneakers yesterday at 6pm EST. The duo gave 25 people the opportunity to own the same custom design they spread across their social media accounts. If you haven’t seen it pop up some where on your feedz, the design was titled “Misplaced Checks” and was upon the all white Nike Air Force 1 high base sneaker. The white Swooshes were each replaced with a new premium material. Simple. But the concept wasn’t even finished as another 12 Swooshes were stitched to the single pair, three per side, to have all four jetting from the back heel tabs instead of the usual, iconic, 1 Swoosh. Amongst the noise John and The Shoe Surgeon were able to answer a few questions about the project, enjoy!
PaintOrThread: Please describe who you are and what it is that you do for our readers that might not know?
JG: Whats up, I’m John Geiger, I like long walks on the beach and wonderful sunsets on the west coast haha, but I’m running on no sleep right now, long story short I’m just a guy wanting to change the world through sneakers. I guess you can say a “designer”.
DC: My name is Dominic Salvatore Chambrone I started customizing shoes in 04, it progressed into shoe repair, meets customizing then cobbler, as well as shoemaking, as well as designing (which I haven’t showed much of yet). So I’m a new age cobbler/designer/shoemaker/business/innovator.
Break down how the “Misplaced Checks” custom project came about and how much say each of you had in the decision making process of the first pair, and now the 25 pairs available to order?
DC: John sent me a drawing and I made it come to life. We got on the phone sent pics back and forth showed him materials to choose from and bam “misplaced checks” #1 was done!
JG: It was a idea I had in 2011 and I sat on it for awhile and I wouldn’t bring the idea to anyone without the same vision, so who else but Dom? My first drawling was so funny I hope I can find it lol. But after that the response from the public was crazy and that’s how the Geiger Collection started.
Assuming the shoe is mostly John’s idea, John where did the idea come from? Any inspiration from vintage Nike Pinwheel graphics?
JG: I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you.
Are there any big differences between the first and 25 pairs besides the 25 pairs being an all white hi as the base?
JG: They are numbered 1-25
DC: MISPLACED THEM MORE STRATEGICALLY.
What are all the different materials the Swooshes are made of and are the materials random or is there some meaning behind their selection?
DC: A little of everything actually.
The gold tongue tag and chalice hang tag are a nice touch. Does the hang tag have any meaning?
JG: The trophy emoji is my fav.
DC: Trophies. <insert 3 trophy emojis here>
The name itself, “Misplaced Checks”, knowing how much some sneaker people get annoyed by people calling the Swoosh a check, is there any underlying meaning to this name?
JG: Lol, yes it means a lot, can’t really talk about it or throw any people under the bus, but I’m owed a lot.
From John’s first post of these on Instagram:
“I kinda got sick of feeding ideas to brands or people constantly getting shut down, so I found someone to bring these crazy ideas in my head to life. @theshoesurgeon Made over 16 Unique swooshes made from Horween, shark, cement print, NUBUCK, pony hair, veg tan, patent, Camo, perf and this is the finished product. Most people will say this is dumb, that’s probably because you never seen it.”- @johngeiger_
You made some interesting remarks of your ideas being shut down and that a lot of people may dislike this custom/idea because they haven’t seen it. Without diverting attention away by mentioning the brands or names, why do you think they were not interested?
JG: The people make things cool, if you got the people behind you thats all that matters, the large corps don’t see what we see til after we do it. Visionaries see whats next, I’ve been known to see whats next.
Dom what made you interested?
DC: I just like working with someone that doesn’t care what everyone else is doing or thinks is “cool” and pushes the limits. And is willing to build. If it wasn’t for Geiger the whole Python Jordan thing would never have really started. He was the one with the idea and funded the whole thing. He just didn’t get any recognition for it.
Do you think they’ll regret not jumping on the idea or allowing you an opportunity? Or does that even matter to you at this point?
JG: They regretted it soon as we posted a pic, we both have bright futures this is only the beginning, I’m just worrying about what we are doing and not paying attention to other people.
DC: I don’t think it matters
I agree that people tend to dislike things they aren’t familiar with or haven’t seen that they can’t connect to a previous experience or memory. What do you think that says about a person with that mentality?
JG: Some people are cool with living how the world is now, thats not fun to me, my joy in life comes from pushing boundaries and seeing what I can get away with. I will get all these ideas out one way or another.
DC: I’m not one to judge.
From a business standpoint making 25 pairs upfront doesn’t exactly seem like the best decision. While offering 25 pairs up to order in all available sizes seems a bit safer. What was the decision process on how to offer the design once you noticed the popularity?
JG: They sold out in 6 minutes
DC: I’d rather sell the release and do the production. That makes it more risky which is my type of lifestyle. Life’s not about “playing it safe” if I played it safe my whole life I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
25 pairs x 16 new Swooshes per shoe = 400 Swooshes. Was that the toughest or most annoying part of making these? Without giving away all your secrets what was the process to chop up all the Swooshes. They do look pretty spot on.
JG: 400 checks… #domswaggod
DC: You’ll see in the video.
John your feed is a stark contrast to many of the Nike sneaker full instagram feeds. Much more towards the AF1 and less towards the circus that is Jordans, Foams, KDs, Lebrons. What is up with that?
JG: You think kids these days they are going to wear Lebrons and play like Lebron? Nope. But I thought I’d fly like Mike when I bought shoes back in the day. What I’m saying is times have changed. I wear what I want, what I like, a lot of people follow.
Collaborations have happened through out sneakers, even in the niche that is custom sneakers. But this is the first that I can think of that had a customizer work with someone who happened to have an idea and then a big enough following for people to catch on. Do you think others will try to follow and why?
JG: Of course they will “follow” was the key word lol.
DC: Probably because thats what people do…they only try something that they see seems to be working for others rather than creating their own thing.
What is next for each of you independently and together in the fashion of these “Misplaced Checks”?
JG: Can’t tell you that just yet lol
DC: A lot…thank you brandon for the interview, and keep pushing the customized sneaker culture/community with Paint Or Thread.