Happy Friday sneaker friends! We’re excited to another weekend, aren’t you?
Last week we served up a tasty little history lesson about Nike SB, and introduced everyone to a new sneaker event going down in Portland this July called The Colorways. I (Robbie) live in Portland, OR so I’m pretty passionate about what my friends at The Colorways are putting on for my adopted home city.
The Colorways is festival that highlights the vibrancy of streetwear culture and the sneaker community as a whole. Their objective is to promote dialogue, entertain and spark new ideas. We’re all about sharing sneaker knowledge and initiating conversation here at Sneaker History, so The Colorways festival is something we can most def stand behind! If you’re in the Portland Area July 4-7 then be sure to come through! Learn more about the event, HERE.
Every day attendees will be hit with a variety of events and workshops ranging from expert panels to customization workshops! One of The Colorway’s main draws of the weekend will be Cam’s Customs; a fully interactive customization space ran by a group of elite customers from around the country like Michael Nerlino, Spare Moves, and Chris Dixon. I had the chance to sit down with the man behind Cam’s Customs, Cameron Kiyokawa, and pick his brain for a bit. Peep the interview below!
RBF: What is Cam’s Customs?
Cam: It’s a custom workshop, I gathered all my friends that customize shoes to be in one room together. They’re from anywhere – Portland, Seattle, NYC and Kansas City. The guest customizers will have past work up. You know, what they can do, what they’ve done in the past. I want people to come in and already see people [the customizer team] working so they can be inspired; and maybe reach out to get work of their own done too. We got specialists that are just fuckin’ nice wit it.
Man, I had a lot of people in Portland that didn’t know where to get this kind of work done, so I just grabbed the Avengers of the Customizing World (lol). Ultimately I want mostly kids to get this experience, but really anyone can benefit from it – I wanted to make a gateway to open peoples’ minds to creativity; I built it [Cam’s Customs] as a place for people to come and be creative in a different way.
RBF: Tony Stark over here! How long have you been doing this [Cam’s Customs] event?
Cam: I’ve done this the last two years, this is year three. It’s getting bigger, man.
RBF: So how much of a customizer do you consider yourself?
Cam: I’m just a creative. I think more outside the box than anything. But I do definitely do small touchups for friends and stuff; but nothing crazy specific. I have specialists that know how to do stuff like glue soles and do work, so there’s no reason for me to be good at it because I have my team to call on.
I did these awhile back though, these are kinda what blew me up. It was kind of a controversy because people didn’t know who did it first, me or Josh [Vides]:
People were trippin’ – people couldn’t tell if it was a drawing or not.
Josh took it in a direction and beat me to the position and now that mofo’s (affectionately) making million of dollars. But, I took it a different direction and started doing workshops and in the last 3 years you have Nike opening a Makers Studio… and adidas doing makers spaces too. I mean, I gotta be up to something? I felt like nothing that was something that had never happened at that point, so we went for it, we made a custom workshop.
RBF: What’s the itinerary looking like [for Cam’s Customs]?
Cam: It’s being held at the Wacom Experience Center. It’s going down every day [of The Colorways; Thursday, July 4rd – Sunday July 7th]. Thursday, on Fourth Of July, there’s gonna be a drink ‘n’ draw event. Rather than drinkin’ ‘n’ chillin’… Drink ‘n’ draws typically have like parchment paper on tables with pens or canvases everywhere, you go ‘n’ draw on shit… this is the exact same concept except with a shoe.
RBF: You guys going to have like pictures or actual shoes?
Cam: White shoes! I’ll have pens everywhere – if you want to grab it and start doodling on it then that’s what the event is for. Physical shoes. We don’t know what shoes we’ll have Thursday yet, it depends, I just know they will be all white – ultimately it’s their canvas.
With that Saturday and Friday is gonna be the workshop. and Sunday we’re at the concert – that’ll be more of a t-shirt workshop/ customization center at the PSU Pavilion.
RBF: What are you going to do with the shoes from the Drink ‘n’ Draw can people buy after?
Cam: They’ll probably stay as display pieces for the next Cam’s Customs. so I can be like “these are from 2019’s DnD.” I could auction them off to a good cause but haven’t found the right one yet.
RBF: You and the click of people around China Town are all about good causes… What inspires you do this work?
Cam: Yeah, the community definitely inspires me. When you get around these kids and inspire them – it’s inspiring to inspire, man, shit feels good. Doing inspiring shit is inspiring – simple. I’m working on a community project with Chris Dixon right now, we always working. Everyone out here is always trying to give back. I throughly believe that if you do everything you can to help everyone else that something good is gonna come from it.
The special thing about our guy Cam is how he uses footwear to help give back to his community. Be on the lookout for tickets for The Colorways to drop soon so you can book your seats in Cam’s Customs. Follow him using the image above too!