To give a new flavor of sneaker style to 2021, The Shoe Surgeon and Chips Ahoy! Cookies have tag-teamed for a fan-inspired sneaker collaboration that benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Fans are called to assist in designing a fresh pair of kicks for spokes-cookie Chip, with the opportunity to win a pair of the final custom sneakers created by The Shoe Surgeon.
The new show from Dominic “The Shoe Surgeon” Ciambrone comes alongside a $100,000 commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in support of their arts programming across the country. Fans can also submit designs to Chip’s new sneakers in his return to Chips Ahoy! campaigns. Every entry submitted to the contest will trigger an additional $5 donation up to a maximum of $20,000.
“I started customizing sneakers in high school as a way to express my creativity and connect with people, so I’m excited to team up with Chips Ahoy! to create a new sneaker that not only gets teens across the country involved but also supports Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Ciambrone. “I invite teens across the country to channel their inner passion for sneakers and let us know what they want to see in the design because their creative inputs could inspire the final sneaker design that Chip will rock advertisements this year and win them a pair to rock themselves.”
Fans and sneakerheads can visit www.chipskicks.com to vote for the shoe silhouette, style, colors, and other elements they’d like to see on Chip’s sneaker. The Shoe Surgeon spoke with The Source to details his collaboration with Chips Ahoy! and what it means to give back to the youth.
You’re partnering with Chips Ahoy! to support the Boys and Girls Club of America. What led you to agree to this collaboration?
I think the opportunity to get creativity back to the youth is the biggest reason for me to do this. I just remember being in the Boys and Girls Club at a young age and having an outlet where I could be creative and be myself. And, you know, it’s always been a dream to be able to impact the youth, just because I know if I had it at that age, I would be far further along in life.
You crossed brands and shown the ability to customize kicks before, how did you approach this project?
This one’s different. It’s like a full package where we’re doing a digital workshop with 10 students of the Boys and Girls Club. They’re also going to help us guide what sneaker that we create and the finished design. So they’re a part of the process, the full process, as well as one winner will be able to actually come and take a class that we have. And some of these shoes will be given away on top of that. Then Chips Ahoy! is donating to the Boys and Girls Club, I think at a hundred thousand dollars, which is just amazing. I think creativity is endless and we need to get it to the youth in different ways.
Is there a process that you have followed before you head into a design?
When I first started, it was always building it to life. Like the design idea. It was never like seen on paper, but it’s evolved since, and I’m now able to visualize something from a sketch to colors to then actually produce it, like make a sample and then make marks on it. But it just depends. I mean, you’ll see the mood board behind me. I have cookies, I got some cookies up. I want to look at the texture. I want to look at the colors, different materials, the packaging, like the branding. I look at it and I just pull all of these elements from it and then put it into the, and see what I mean. I build it to life. I need to see and feel it come to life.
You mentioned having that mood board and being able to feel the pieces and draw inspiration from them. Dealing with the pandemic, has there been a way for you to keep your mind fresh?
I started training very hard with a personal trainer, taking care of my health, and being really conscious of what I’m putting into my body. Also just being creative and also just being less judgmental on yourself because you know, most people tend to be nicer or easier on other people and we forget about ourselves. And when you remember that you are another person just like anyone else and when you’re good to yourself, you’ll feel better and you’ll see it.
So yeah, the pandemic has been definitely a very challenging time for a lot of people. Some, you know, a lot less fortunate. I’m grateful to still be having a creative outlet and to be able to do collaborations and have an opportunity to give back to the kids. It might start with creativity, but it’s also going to them and talking to them about their mental health. I had to overcome things and how they can do it too at a younger age. I don’t think anyone taught me that at a young age.
With these students, you’ll be working in the virtual workshops to work hand in hand with them. How does it feel for you to be able to give that opportunity?
It’s a blessing. I’m grateful for this opportunity. I think sneakers and my craft got me to this platform and to have this voice, but I think the bigger picture is to give back and help change and do better for ourselves.
We know that you had to sneaker school, but are there any other ways that you’ve been able to reach back and inspire the coming generation?
We started to create our kits where you can buy a whole package and there are pens and a bunch of little tools in it. So you can just color the shoes yourself. I think creativity can start anyway. You don’t need a sewing machine You can just grab a pen and start coloring on shoes, and that’s a great way to start. So that’s been definitely something we’ve done as well.
Has there been a sneaker silhouette or something that you’ve seen over the past year that you kind of want to get your hands on, that you just haven’t taken a stab at?
There are so many, we can only create so much. The way I look at sneakers, they are a canvas and there is their own unique canvas. So yeah, there’s quite a bit, there’s a couple of Adidas that I’m liking right now too.