Revive x adidas Rivalry Low “Red Eye”


Named after a special sewing machine it’s clear from the get go that Evan over at Revive Customs cares about the quality of his kicks, especially when it comes to their production.

And although he’s obviously unlocked the secrets of sneaker customization, he seemingly needs practice with other household keys, because he was in quite a state of distress when we arrived at the scene of his Brooklyn pad for a one-on-one interview.

Hey Evan, how often do you lock yourself out of the bathroom?

This was my first time! After breaking my airbrush needle in the door I found out that I needed a mini flat-head screwdriver to get the job done.

All tricks of the trade I presume. Now that the porcelain’s safely within reach, give us some context: who are you and what defines you as a person?

I’m looking to give people a personal experience. I’m putting something on a shoe that has a specific or intense meaning for somebody. Through the experiences of the wearer, my work comes to life. It’s not an installation or a canvas on the wall being seen by only a select few; my work enters the public domain.

Big thoughts illustrated via bigger actions. So how’d you get started customizing?

During high school I started to revive my friends’ favorite sneakers. I responded to people who wanted to express themselves creatively with their footwear. My very first pair was some white on white Air Force’s with a red croc texture I created with a wood burner. I began taking orders around school and slowly started to challenge myself with complexity. I wanted to get to the point that I could put anything on a sneaker.

Your list of sneakers on your website and blogspot is impressive; it seems you’re making almost a sneaker per month. How long does it usually take you to do a design, from conception to final creation?

Developing the concept is the most difficult part of the design. You can’t force an idea. It must come to you over time. Once the concept is finalized, executing the design is less demanding. The time it takes to produce a piece varies. A lot of time is spent on research and development. For a simple shoe, about twenty hours, but my most complex shoe to date took around 75 hours.

As for brands, it seems you’ve done both adidas and PUMA, will we see more of these two in the future from you?

In selecting a base, I look at the characteristics of the shoe to see if it can be incorporated into my design. Each brand offers interesting characteristics and I choose the brand based on its cohesiveness to the idea.

Right and on to the Red Eye’s, tell us about them: technically how are they made and what challenges did you face during the process?

The shoe is one hundred percent hand painted using a variety of brushes. Essentially it’s
Painting 101: start with your light colors and then apply your darks. For this piece I painted the whole shoe gold, and then applied black for the detailing. If you were to paint the whole shoe black and then apply gold detailing you wouldn’t be able to get a clean effect.

Your sewing machine inspiration makes perfect sense and totally parallels with your other custom series (such as horror films) helping to show your personality in your work, but why the model? What is it about the Rivalry that made you want to put the Red Eye design on it?

A brand like adidas has a strong heritage that stands out from other brands. The Rivalry has always been a favorite adidas model of mine and I chose the shoe because it has a vintage attitude to it. The intricate ornamentation for the singer sewing machine lends itself well to the basic design of the shoe. I wanted every inch of this shoe to be covered with it.

Also regarding models; what are you favorite adidas models to work on and to wear yourself?

Right now I’m about to buy a pair of original adidas Phantoms. I am a huge Ice T fan and saw him wearing them in New Jack City.

And along those lines, do you consider yourself a collector too, or just a customizer?

I have a lot of shoes but I wear them. I consider myself more of a sneaker lover than a collector. I don’t necessarily have to own the shoe to appreciate it.

Short and sweet Evan, that’s how we like it. Thanks so much for letting us in, now hopefully we can get out the front door without needing to pick the lock with our lace jewels! Take care and talk soon – we look forward to what you spin out next.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by Revive Customs

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