Benji Blunt x adidas Superstar Vins “EZ1″

  • DESIGNED BY: Benji Blunt

Benji Blunt drops another beautifully done custom, this time producing a unique shoe for a fellow sneaker freak known in the footwear world as “EZ-1″. Starting with a Superstar Vins from the Craft Pack, Benji modified the colorway and added personal branding to fit his client’s order.

These one-of-a-kind customs are a solid “warm” grey (as Benji puts it) with light tan stripes, tongue, and heel patch. The sockliner and laces are red and EZ-1′s signature logo can be seen in dark grey lettering on the side of the heel, just above the mid sole. When asked what medium and tools were used to create the design, Benji responded:

Acrylic again. A variety of high quality brushes, flats and rounded, and some foam brushes too. Acetone and Cotton buds to prep – always use a vapour mask kids!

The final result looks extremely professional, literally factory quality. How were you able to do the heel lettering so precise and crisp?

I created the design on paper and used a brush as well as a well-documented art technique that’s been around since the ’50s or ’60s. The result is essentially ink sealed in acrylic. I’m not the only one using this technique (and I do share tips and hints with another artist) but it took time to research and practice, so I’m keeping my cards to myself for now. I still have to use a round detailer brush in combination and often the technique isn’t suitable for the job at hand.

Fair enough, a magician certainly can’t give away all his tricks. But what about the design itself, what’s the story behind the colorway?

EZ-1 originally approached me with the idea of ‘restoring’ the shoe as much as possible to the colorway and design of the original samples which were blogged in 2010 I think. Some of the colours and materials were different. We both thought the sample looked better than the release. So I set out to – as far as possible – recreate that shoe. He has another pair so he was happy to attempt this. The leather is waxed and not a surface I had worked on before so after prepping the shoe I used a few coats of a grey primer to provide a key for the main color, really needed as the leather was so absorbent. What surprised me was how nice the primer looked, so with a few attempts to mix just the right warm grey to tie the colourway together, we both agreed it looked good and we should go with this colorway. The stripes were colored to match the heel tab material, and the logo was added and washed over a few times to make it look a bit faded.

Sounds like things turned out great, despite the unexpected turn of events. Were there any challenges in working with the Craft Pack Superstar Vins?

EZ-1 was open to me just going with whatever I wanted to do, which is great, but with a shoe like this you have to work within the boundaries of the materials and existing colors on the shoe, they dictate how far you can go. I would really need a blank canvas to do something really special.

Speaking of future work, do you have any other commissions in the pipeline?

People are bouncing ideas back and forth with me at the moment. It’s really useful to have a brief or an idea so that you can give them what you know they would like. Simple colorway changes are quick and ultimately cheaper than something really detailed or involving lots of techniques; an easy way to own a unique pair of shoes. I may do a pair of Craft Pack Superstar Vins in the original sample colors for myself!

Exciting! So how can trainer addicts get in touch with you for customs of their own?

Contact me on my Benji Blunt Facebook page if you’re interested in my work. I have just spent a lot of time and shoes practicing some new techiques and methods of customizing supes, something quite different, so watch this space for a new pair of 80s in a UK11.

written by Dylan Cromwell

photography by errol

  • Benji Blunt

    Damn that sugar coated lens Errol.

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