Sneakers are having a major moment lately (as if they weren’t always ubiquitous), with 2020 kicks paying homage to the past through the contentious “dad” sneakers and looking ahead via the chunky-soled futuristic trend. Make your kicks custom, by commissioning West Harrison resident John Visconti to hand-paint your footwear with any design of your choosing.
The 31-year-old IT specialist was inspired by custom Vans he saw online seven years ago before trying his hand at personalization. After painting sneaks for a few years, he launched his business, Skinz Time, in 2018, to offer one-of-a-kind creations. Come to Visconti with an idea and a pair of shoes — or request he purchase them for you — and he will use printed templates, later hand-painting each design with a brush using Angelus acrylic leather paint (specifically designed for customizing sneakers). They are finished with an acrylic sealant and waterproofed for protection. Each order takes roughly 3 to 6 weeks. Popular designs include anime, landscapes, flowers, and pop-culture references. While sneakers are his specialty, Visconti can customize anything — boxing gloves, wallets, fitted caps — for any occasion, including birthdays, weddings, and holidays. A pair of sneakers, including the personalized design, starts at $175.