Q: WHO ARE YOU? CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TEAM/COMPANY FOR US?
We are a crew located in Skopje, under the brand name SWithADot, or S. What I've started alone, with one sharpie and 1USD white tennis shoes back in the days, its now the only premium customizing studio in Europe, creating wearable art for clients from more than 30 countries, with a pretty long list of celebrity clients and brand collaboration pieces.
Q: WHILE SCROLLING DOWN YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED WE SAW MANY CUSTOMIZED SNEAKERS WITH HANDBALL GRAPHICS – WHY HANDBALL?
Well, handball is the number one sport in the country I origin from, Macedonia. Personally, I am kind of tied to the sport. I was watching Kometal GP as kid in 'Kale' arena. I try to avoid watching close games, since I am a very passionate fan. :)
Having in mind sport's popularity and its ability to connect people, I had an idea - but no knowledge at that time - to convince two (of then) Vardar HC Women and Men collectives, the first players in the world, wearing custom footwear on the professional games. I had an honor to have the brilliant Andrea Lekic on a board. She gave me an ultimate green light to experiment on - believe it or not - her F4 kicks! Crazy times!
That was back in 2017. Few weeks later, the male F4 was coming up, so I asked Leki if she could find me one break-through mind in the male team. Few minutes later, Timur Dibirov called... And, remember who won EHF CL Champion title that year, right? We created a pair of lucky shoes, they went viral and the dice started rolling like crazy.
Q: ARE YOU PERSONALLY ALSO A FAN OF HANDBALL?
I am actually! I have grown with the sport. I like the toughness and the grit you need to possess in order to become great handball player. It's basically not the stamina or the six-packs. It is the passion, which is very similar to what drives artists to create their art.
Q: WHO ARE SOME OF THE HANDBALL PLAYERS THAT ARE HONORED TO WEAR YOUR COSTUME MADE SNEAKERS?
Oh, the list is very long. Joan Canellas, Luka Cindric, Eduardo Gurbindo, Timur Dibirov, Borko Ristovski, László Nagy in Dainis Kristopans, Stojance Stoilov, Andrea Lekic, Filip Taleski, Alexandra Lacrabère, Amandine Leynau to name a few.
Q: WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF MAKING SNEAKERS LIKE THAT?
First of all, we tend to develop an idea from what the player has to say. I tend to pick their brain up about their preferences, things they like - sometimes, it's some little fact or personal story that can trigger a whole design. Then we do handmade preview in form of a sketch that the player needs to approve before we start the whole customization process. It usually takes between 50-60 hours of hand-customization work to get a pair to the finish line.
Q: IS THERE ANY SPECIAL HANDBALL PLAYER THAT YOU WOULD BE HAPPY IF HE WOULD PLAY IN YOUR COSTUME MADE SHOES?
Well, everyone who is interested in it! I know a lot of the players personally, and my mission is to get everyone on board, since it's beautiful to watch the connection between the sport and art going viral
in both fields. If you are asking for specific names, I see that #GorenjeSimplyFans got Nikola Karabatic and Kentin Mahe on board, so they could be the challenge I would gladly put on my list of special players I would like to work with too!
Q: HOW CAN PEOPLE WHO WANT YOUR SERVICE REACH YOU?
You can find us at www.swithadot.com and send your design idea via site, or just slide into our DM's with creativeness. We would gladly reply to all interested in what we do.