One of the biggest trends in fashion right now is really the anti-trend—having that one-of-a-kind piece that no one else has. As we get ready for the start of Fashion, Week, NY1's Stephanie Simon introduces us to a Bronx artist who is making his mark with hand painted boots that range from pop culture to political.
These boots are made for more than just walking. Bronx Artist Donnell McFadden hand-paints boots that are meant to get you noticed. One pair says "I can't breathe," a rallying cry in the wake of Eric Garner's death while in police custody.
"That’s what art is, like, it’s for your interpretation. Whether you take it wrong or bad, you’re going to be talking about it. That’s my purpose. The X on the Police Department logo wasn’t like saying, ‘Oh I don’t like cops.’ It was saying it was just, like, an error that occurred and just to keep people aware," says McFadden.
Brooklyn Rapper Jay Mula wears the boots in his new music video.
Mula: "The boots were getting a lot of love and I just felt that I had to speak my mind through fashion."
Simon: "What are people saying when they see you in them?"
Mula: "‘Can I take a picture?’"
McFadden just finished a new pair for rapper Meek Mill.
"I shipped them off so I’m waiting for Meek Mill to get them. Once he gets them, yeah, I’ll probably retire," McFadden says.
Pro-atheletes are also sporting these "cus-timbz," or customized Timberlands.
"NBA players like Tony Wroten, Mike Conley Jr, football players like Mo Wilkerson from the Jets, Terrell Brown from the Oakland Raiders," McFadden says.
The cost: a few hundered dollars and up. It all started two years ago here at his mom's apartment in the South Bronx, painting boots with his daugter for fun. But demand for a standout one-of-a-kind accessory has kept him busy ever since.
"It’s art. Like whether it’s on boots or it’s on canvas, it’s art," McFadden says.
The newest pair features the NY1 logo—and me!
Simon: "Alright I love this and yes, that is me reporting live from my feet. I like your boots. What do you think of mine?"
Mula: "Those is fresh. I need me a pair of those. That’s the NY1 crime scene special edition – oh!"