Sharaf Vohidov aka Desp1 aka ChicoWebsite:http://www.TheFreshandFly.comhttp://www.facebook.com/FreshAndFlyCustomshttp://www.thefreshandfly.tumblr.comTwitter:
9.5/10South Park or Simpsons?
Def South Park, it’s just hilarious very good plots, relevant to current time and just great characters. Your most well know these days for your amazing recon work, do you hand paint much?
Yes of course, it all started with painting for me so I will never stop using the brush lol. Dont get me wrong a lot of stuff I release to the public is recon work but I still love to sit down and paint a pair of kicks. I guess I don’t post the stuff I paint because not a lot of people appreciate it as much as the recons I make and I also don’t have a signature paint style like other customers such as yourself or SBTG. People have always said I make great paint customs, and the paint customs is what got me my initial recognition in the customizer society back in late ’07 early ’08. I think once I develop a certain paint pattern that’s my own I will be posting much more paint customs.I agree that when painting its important to have a recognizable style, it’s what helps set you apart from the crowd and differentiate your work from someone else’s. So this is something you have been working on?
Yea I have been working on a couple styles of painting patterns of my own, it a bit hard to make something that will look good and appeal to wider range of the sneaker culture then just customizers. I came from a graffiti background I started writing when I was 12-13 years old so every time I try to develop a certain style it always comes back to graff you know. I have always loved the dirty broken down walls of NY with mounds of tags, throw ups, and scribbles all over them but to take that and turn it into a certain paint pattern is hard. Every time I try it I just don’t like the way it comes out.When you recon a sneaker do you prefer to do the stitching by hand or by machine?
Personally I love making all my customs by hand. The big reason for that is because I would like my recon work to be looked at as fine Italian shoe craftsmanship. I respect people who use sewing machines but to me it’s more important to be able to do it by hand and have the patience to put a shoe all together by actual hand and not a sewing machine. Anyone can sit down and learn how to stitch straight lines and curves on a sewing machine in 6 month u know but not everyone has the patience to sit down and do it all by hand. I am not in the custom game for money or fame so to me the time I spend on making the shoes is not a limit u know, I don’t have to churn out custom after custom. When I have orders the customers gladly wait the 3to4 weeks to get the shoes I make. How do you go about finding the materials for your customs, will you just buy things as you find them and come up with the colorway at a later date for a specific release?
Well it depends, sometimes I have a clear idea in my head and I just go and purchase the material I need to make that idea happened, other times I will be browsing a fabric store or a web site and see something that looks cool and I will just buy it. The bad thing about spontaneously buying materials is that you will buy it and the next time you go back to get more its gone and you can never re-create that shoe you made again. Do you wear your own stuff? Whats your favorite pair of customs to wear if you do? I assume they are Blazers.
Yea of course I wear my kicks that’s a must since I started doing this customizing thing mostly for myself. I wear a lot of my painted stuff just because when I started customizing and got more recognizable I kept a lot of the work and I wore it on a regular basis. As for my fav pairs, I would have to say I wear my Adidas ATCQ Midnight Marauder Shelltoes a lot I love those kicks to death, then I wear my Vans Snake and Denim joints and I also the Califas Vans a lot. Personally I am a big fan of the little touches in customs much like a quilted interior, what is the most tedious thing to do when doing a recon, what do you dread doing the most?
Well I can’t really say what the most tedious thing I do is, cause I do everything by hand it all seems tedious to people. But I guess I would have to say the proper stitching out the logos and stitching in general. Because it’s all done by hand I have to be really acute to the way I make each stitch so it is sized properly and not one longer than the other. Also one of the harder things is the addition of new components to the upper such as zippers and etc, you have to be able to do it properly and size it right so the shoes don’t come out looking weird and the additions is actually functional. A good example is the 10 Deep Blazer I made, I had to size the zipper and measure the placement of it so it would actually function and be comfortable. With the 10 Deep Blazer you can just use the zipper to put the shoes on and off without having to untie it. On the point of logos have you ever had a problem with a company whose logo you have put onto a shoe? Like a threatening letter or request to cease work?
Surprisingly so far I have not had any problems with companies sending me any kind of threatening or cease and desist letters. I personally think that these companies will not send me a letter to stop making sneakers with their logos. I mean I make really limited runs of kicks and second because these guys come from the same backgrounds as most of us they understand that we are just using their logos as an ode to their companies and not as a tool to try and make money. I am a big fan of UNDFTD and 10 Deep and have been purchasing their clothing for a long time so making shoes using the logo is my way of tipping my hat to their work. I stay away from using logos of huge well established companies such as movie companies, food/beverage related, luxury goods etc. These are the companies that are more inclined to send you a cease letter since they do not really understand the custom culture and cannot weigh the positive exposure they receive as opposed to the threat that they may perceive.
Do you own customs from any other customizers?
No I do not own any kicks from other customizers but I would love to own some. There is a few people I def want to have make me kicks. I have a whole folder of saved customs on my hard-drive, do you have say a favorite 3 or 4 customs?
Hum there is a bunch of customs I have been really fond of. But ill give you the top 5 of my all time fav customs that inspired and inspire me to keep doing this.First
I have to say the Ghettro Nike Air Max 87 Challenge from 2006 I think in White/Brown/Mustard color with the Challenge pattern on the mudguard. Those kicks where crazy when I first saw them, I remember looking at them and thinking how freaking long it took him to make the pattern and how in the world he was able to do it.Second
Would be the Rob-L Archeopilogical Puma Clyde’s from early 2007 in lime green with the clover green form strip. At that point I had no idea that you could customize suede/nubuck kicks and when I saw those joints with the all over pattern I fell in love with them. It was one of those kicks that just stay in your mind for the rest of your life. The best part was the color combo, the lime green pattern with the clover green stripe jumped at you but not in a tacky way.Third
Would be the Vans Half Cabs made by Hush in 2008 I believe. They where the Half cabs with the red toe and the rest of the body was a mixture of different black materials such as Carbon Fiber, Leather, and mesh with the little red HUSH logo heel tab. Man those where so dope, the construction, color blocking, mixture of materials and overall cleanness of construction was insane.Fourth
Would have to be the Gold Rush AF1’s made by Lazy. Dude is like the godfather of denim kicks on the real. His work is always clean, the designs and color combos are on point and the extra little things like embroidery just top them off. I remember seeing the Gold Rush joints and my jaw dropping, the denim having the wear effect and the toe cap having that patch style stitching was just dope and the one gold alligator swoosh topped it off. But the crazy thing not many people know is that this dude Lazy attaches all the materials and sews it by hand like I do, and even crazier is that he don’t even use a sewing awl, he uses a regular leather needle. When I found that out I was really impressed.Last
I would have to say is the Vans SK8 Hi American Made 1 by False Quest. Man this dudes work is always on point, he doesn’t release a lot of kicks but every time he does drop something its out of this world. His attention to detail and passion for the work is seen in every pair. The Vans he dropped recently became one of my fav custom kicks, the idea behind them and the materials where so dope. The kicks had that weathered look on the Vans strip and the canvas being treated with an old school waterproofing method is crazy. I like kicks that are simple but have a lot of thought put into them and these just killed it. Plus the extra touches like the insoles, tags, and custom made midsole heel logo is crazy.Do you customize full time?
No I don’t customize full time but I wish I did. I have a job that I am really active in. I use to work in finance up to last year but I had an opportunity to get a job with better pay and less work so I jumped at it. Currently I work at Golden Fields, it’s a gold mining company that mines gold and precious metals in Central Asia and Middle East. I work as a personal translator and language interpretator for the director of the company since I can speak Russian and English fluently.Wow, so how do you find the time to custom, do you have any other regular commitments like a sport or class?
Well I mostly customize on weekends or when I have time off and sometimes even after work. I find customizing to be relaxing and it allows me to take my mind off of work and just relax. As far as other commitments not at this point. I love basketball but rarely have time or other people to meet and play ball with. As far as school, I am planning to return to my studies in Finance in the coming year if I am able to find time, I have 1 semester left to finish and receive my degree in business admin in finance/accounting. If all works out then I will be going for a master’s degree in accounting/auditing. The only commitment I have besides customizing is my second addiction, I love Hong Kong/Asian cinema so I do spend a fair amount of time searching for and watching Hong Kong/Asian movies, have been addicted to watching HK movies since I saw my first Jackie Chan movie in 1989, it was called Wheels on Meals one of the best flicks. What kind of advice would you give to a newbie?
Do your research; you can learn everything you need about customizing kicks from the web, all the info is there just look for it like we all did when we started and don’t be scared to try new things, trial and error is one of the best ways to learn something. Second is please be original, everyone is tired of seeing kicks with spongebob, tupac, scarface etc. oversized team logos and crazy colorways.