Imagine you’re one of the most famous shoe designers in the world and an iced tea company calls you up to create a shoe.
And now Brisk Iced Tea had an interesting idea: Create a limited-edition, bold and unique custom sneaker inspired by one of the newest Brisk Iced Tea flavors, Pineapple Passionfruit. Then don’t put it out on the market for purchase but fans will get a chance to win two pairs through a video sweepstakes.
Mandy Mazzeo, marketing manager for Brisk Iced Tea, said her company loves to work with artists to design unconventional, bold and unique designs that highlight quirky characters.
“Brisk has always been inspired by creativity and self-expression, so we were thrilled that Mache designed a bold and unique custom kick that was inspired by John Juan, the Brisk character featured on the Pineapple Passionfruit flavor packaging,” she said. “We wanted to showcase how these sneakers were created, so we teamed up with Mache to bring fans a making-of video detailing the creative process behind these limited-edition sneakers.”
The BMF had a few minutes for an exclusive interview with Mache.
You’ve designed for some of the best athletes in the world including Kobe Bryant. What has that been like?
“It’s still crazy to go through my phone and look at the names that I’ve worked with on past projects and it certainly gives me a feeling of pride and accomplishment. As for the actual process, when I first would start getting this type of clientele, I would certainly have those star struck moments or the nervous energy in fear of messing up (fill in the blank famous athlete’s) shoes. But over the years I’ve become more used to it, and treated the notable clients projects just like Joe from the Bronx order.”
What was it like working with Wale and Kanye?
“I’ve been fortunate to have formed a great relationship with Wale over the years, I’d even go as far as to consider him a friend. He has a genuine love for kicks and the art; it’s always fun when the phone rings and he’s on the other end. I’ve done shoes for Kanye in the past but can’t say I’ve had the opportunity to work with him directly yet, it would definitely be an experience I’d love to make happen at some point.”
In this project, you’re working with a “cartoon” character, what was that like?
“Haha. It was definitely a first! While they filmed me working I had to interact and follow a stuffed toy as a reference point which will be replaced in editing with John Juan, the Brisk character featured on the Pineapple Passionfruit flavor packaging and the inspiration behind these custom sneakers. It was a fun experience and I’m stoked to see how the results turn out!”
You’ve always been inventive about your approach. Where do you get your ideas?
“Honestly I’m inspired all the time. It could be something I see while outside, could be a movie I saw when I was a kid. And what ends up happening is I get an idea and it will eat at me until I can get it out and make the shoe. If I don’t get it out, I’ll be working on another project and I’ll be thinking about this idea I have. So what I’ve learned to do is put the project to the side and work on the idea until I am content to go back to what I was working on and give that project all of my attention.”
You were a big baseball player before. Would you give up the creative process of these projects and play pro baseball?
“It’s crazy that I used to always think what if? What if I signed that contract back in ‘98 and all of this never happened. But honestly I’m firm believer that everything happens for a reason, there’s a reason I hurt my pitching shoulder, there’s a reason I decided to stay in school. I’m done saying ‘what if.’ I wouldn’t trade my experiences from this to go back and play. I feel like I live pretty vicariously though my custom cleats on the field. That’s good enough for me.”