Nike Kobe VIII “What the Kobe” by @RelevantCustoms and @Mache275

If 2012 saw anything in the custom sneaker game it was the growth in the use of animal skins for reconstructions. 2013 has seen that trend only continue to increase in popularity. The latest animal endeavor comes from a well known name, Mache coming together with a relatively unknown name, Relevant Customs to make The REAL Nike What the Kobe VIII.

One of many firsts, as a collaboration between Relevant Customs and Mache this is likely also the first of a Kobe VIII as a base for reconstruction, specifically the Red Camo release seen below. Using the concept of the Kobe VII which had colorways themed for different predatory animals the two customizers chose 6 different animals. Starting with an obvious python skin dyed purple for the upper contrasted with black snakeskin on the lateral Swooshes. The back heel features shark skin around a cut-out of the Swoosh made from stingray to go with a very Lakers-esq neon yellow lizard skin. The tongues and liners were covered in a faux cheetah fur. A close look at the tongue tag boasts the detail work of lasering by Absolelute featuring an image of each animal with the purple python under the Kobe logo. A premium look to one of Nike’s premium basketball models.

As these aren’t of your sneaker-store-shelf variety only 5 pairs will be made available to order through‘s Contact Page. Be sure to follow both customizers @RelevantCustoms and @Mache275 on Instagram

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The Kobe VIII Red Camo before customization. Image via: SneakerFiles