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Exclusive

Surgically Enhanced

Surgically Enhanced

 

1 sneaker legend, 4 exclusive one-off styles. Kicks collectors, click here

 

Words by Ryan Thompson
Photography by Nic Serpell-Rand
Film by Jesus Diaz

 

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‘When I was a kid, I was always trying to build things with my hands, so I guess constructing and deconstructing has always been something I’ve loved doing,’ says the LA-based innovator. ‘I was that kid who never looked at the Lego instructions, I’d just experiment all the time.’ In high school Dominic realised that his passion for creating could be transferred to the single most important currency for a Californian youth: sneakers. ‘One day my cousin let me borrow her original ’85 Jordans, but I didn’t really know what they were or the cultural significance of them. So I wore them to school and everyone went crazy over them. I was pretty shy and quiet so experiencing the reaction to those sneakers was kind of a lightbulb moment for me.’

 

 

 

He remembers when sneaker culture exploded: ‘I was like, OK, all my friends have the same shoes now. So in my junior year of high school I airbrushed a pair of all-white Nike Air Force 1s in a camouflage pattern and wore those to school. People flipped. I knew instantly that the feeling I had from something I’d brought to life myself was better than anything another shoemaker could give me.’

 

Dominic’s LinkedIn profile states his profession as ‘cobbler’, and in fact the title does reflect the origins of his journey. ‘In the United States there wasn’t really a shoe-making industry like there was [in the UK]. So my first job was in shoe repair, like putting boot soles on Vans and fixing Red Wing boots. It wasn’t what I wanted to do but I learned a huge amount about how to deconstruct a shoe, which gave me a better understanding of how to reconstruct one.’

 

 

 

 

 

Dominic was very quickly able to hone his craft and it wasn’t long before he was customising sneakers for Justin Bieber and Will.i.am. ‘We’ve done shoes for LA’s finest,’ he says. ‘That’s the great thing about LA: not only do you have loads of celebrities but also people who respect a handmade product and have the pockets to afford it. When I started though, I didn’t have a particular audience in mind. I just wanted to make something that was superior to anything else on the market, and that’s still my goal today.’

 

 

Back in The Yard, the sneakerheads are studiously quiet as they surgically enhance their kicks. ‘To see how something was made,’ says Dominic, ‘especially some of the shoes here tonight, is really interesting and fun. But my favourite part of the process is the building, as it happens naturally, when you just flow.’ And the sneaker industry is certainly flowing: worth in excess of $55 billion and populated by literally everyone, from babies in Vans to a 70-year-old billionaire in Saint Laurent via Kanye West and his Yeezys. Then there’s Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, who recently collaborated with Nike on a series of 10 classic shoes. ‘What he is doing is really powerful,’ says Dominic. ‘He knows how to connect and showcase his art… It’s what the sneaker world needs right now.’

 

 

Which begs the question: what does your sneaker collection need right now? For true sneakerheads, there isn’t a more exclusive offering than the 4 one-of-a-kind pairs created by The Shoe Surgeon for Farfetch. Beyond those, Farfetch has the broadest collection of the most sought-after luxury sneakers from over 560 global boutiques, including the NikeLab stores in New York and Chicago. There really is no better place to get your kicks.