MetalHeadz x Blunt Shank – Hybrid Custom for Goldie

This project is Hip Hop.

I approached Goldie originally because of his cultural impact in my life and of Hip Hop in the UK. I grew up in the 80s and saw him in Rap Attack at the Shaw Theatre, BBoying and writing. I wanted to invite him to come make a pair of kicks with me by hand. He checked some of my work and saw my pair of Clarks Air Max I had made for myself. He wanted something similar made for him.

Fusing cultural elements together and making something fresh, is what Hip Hop is all about for me. Whether it is Music, Dance or Art. In this project I took different classic shoe elements and remixed them to make a new hybrid shoe. I hope they feel like they belong together. I know Goldie is pleased.

To make there Metalheadz Hybrid, I used a deadstock Clarks Originals Trigenic from 2017, pulled it apart, soaked the suede upper in water, lasted it over a Nike Air Max 1 last shape, shrunk it to the new shape and left it take this new form over a period of days. 

Then I deconstructed a Nike Air Max 1 Sole unit and prepped it ready to be glued to the new upper at the end of construction… 

I made a Metalheadz logo stamp from magnesium, so it could be heated carefully and used for embossing the leather and stitched the resulting badge to the upper in the style of a “monkey boot” (Goldie’s idea). 

I distorted the digital logo in a photo editor to create a layered camo pattern in comlimentary colours, that I digitally printed on velour, for new sockliners. 

A veg tan leather heel counter was wet moulded on the last and covered in suede before fixing inside the heel area, in the way Clarks added there own structure to this moccasin style boot.

I replaced the heel pulls with the same suede, embossed with the logo and hand stitched with hemp thread.

I added other details like an art number, more branding and stamped Clarks style tags. 

I flipped the laces for retro reflective flecked rope laces and included handmade Metalheadz leather lace locks as an optional extra. 

Jan 2023

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