Trainer Customisation 2: Chum 101 / I-Saw

Graffiti artist Chum 101 customises a pair of Nikes using their unique streetwise rotary engraving skills

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Video Transcript

Chum 101, aka Barney Trattles from fashion-meets-graffiti brand I-Saw

Basically I've been customising trainers since around mid-2000.

I was experimenting with engraving leather accessories, belts and suchlike.

I found, discovered, rotary engraving tools as the way to go because you have a point, a tip, and you can work with a continuous line.

Basically it allows you to be much more fluid and natural in the drawing process.

Within I-Saw, the customisation that we do we call ‘Sneakouture’, and then for the specific process – what I'm doing here, the leather engraving – I call that engraviti, because it's like a marrying of engraving and graffiti.

So even though, say, it'll be a Nike shoe or an Adidas shoe, we're kind of like reclaiming or reappropriating the space in the same way that graffiti artists do with architectural space or environments, and we're rebranding that surface with the I-Saw identity.

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Underground creativity has been successfully embraced by sports superbrands and incorporated into their brands.

In this film you can watch Chum 101, aka Barney Trattles from fashion-meets-graffiti brand I-Saw, as he performs an act of ‘sneakouture’, using the odd art of ‘engraviti’ to customize a pair of leather kicks into a unique pair of high-tops.

Chum 101 combine street art with artisanal rotary engraving skills that they have been evolving since 2001

A truly unique pair of high-tops takes shape.as part of the V&A’s 2008/9 exhibition Fashion V Sport, their celebration of creative connections between contemporary fashion and global sportswear