At the end of this past summer emmanueLabor was working over time to finish a slew of decon-recon custom shoes. I recently caught up with him for a few quick questions about his Darth Vader inspired Nike Blazers complete with black patent leather cut and sewn to recreate Vader’s helmet and light up Swooshes to represent his red light saber.
How long had you been wanting to create a Darth Vader themed custom shoe?
I’ve wanted to do a Darth Vader shoe probably since I knew customizers (you with your Evolved Footwear customs) could put lights in them. As soon as I saw you put lights in shoes I wanted to do a Vader shoe as well as a Cyclops from the X-men shoe. I didn’t actually get the courage to try it till after I figured out how to light up my Iron Man dunks. Once I had that figured, The Vaders were a no-brainer.
When did you finalize this idea that became the end result of a Nike Blazer with black patent leather?
If I was gonna do a Vader shoe, patent leather was a given. A black and red colorway just wasn’t gonna cut it for me. I always strive for a sense of realism in my customs. Vader’s helmet is shiny black, so this shoe had to be shiny black. After I did the Boba Fett Zoom Force 1 snowboard boots, I knew that when I got around to my Vader shoe, it was gonna be based on his helmet since its so iconic. Even way back when I did my Marvel Mask shoes, the idea to do a shoe centered on helmets/masks was there.
These have quite a bit of handy work with stitching especially the back that is cut and sewn together to mimic his mask and the tongue made to look like Vader’s chest armor. How many separate pieces of material make up one of the shoes?
wow….maybe 18 different pieces per shoe?
What was harder, getting the back heels cut and stitched accurately or the lighted Swoosh setup to represent Vader’s red light saber?
The lit swoosh was definitely the hardest. The mask was intricate and time consuming, but pretty straight forward. The Swooshes had lighting and angles and diffusion and reflection and wiring…a whole host of issues, and to be honest they’re still not 100% the way I wanted. I mean I’m happy with how they came out cause they lit up and represented the look I was going for, but ideally I’d want them with an even glow.
Finally what is your one favorite Star Wars scene? And do you have anymore Star Wars themed custom shoes planned for the future?
That’s a tough one…umm…..probably Luke vs. Vader in Empire Strikes Back…right before Luke got his hand cut off.( lol) I still have a new and improved C3PO AF1 in my notebook, a pair of General Greivous Stan Smiths on deck, a Mace Windu shoe, and possibly Yoda. I have a crazy idea for an Emperor Palpatine or Dooku shoe, but at this point I dont think its possible they way I currently have in mind.