We recently talked with Angel Gonzalez, better known by his alias “VagrantSneaker,” about how he finds inspiration to create the awesome Air Max 1 iDs we’ve seen popping up around the web. Find out about what he loves most about the shoe and how the designs all come together, after the jump.
NIKEiD: Hi Angel, why don’t we start off with you telling us a little bit more about yourself and how you first discovered your love for footwear.
Angel: My name is Angel Gonzalez and I go by the alias “Vagrant” or “Vagrant Sneaker” on social networks. I also run a blog called Vagrant Sneaker and have a portfolio site in the works called Angel’s View Finder. I’m currently a store manager and freelance Product/Fashion photographer. I’ve been collecting shoes since late 2007 because of a friend. He showed me his love for sneakers and I started to find interest in it. Once I made my first purchase, I never looked back. Also, I don’t really consider myself a collector because every shoe bought finds itself on my feet.
NIKEiD:Interesting. Perhaps we could call you more of an “appreciator” of sneakers than a collector?
Angel: Yeah. definitely that because sometimes I find myself writing about how I feel about a shoe at times.
NIKEiD: You obviously have a strong online presence and a great handle on social media, over the last few years have you seen any major changes/improvements in how the web is utilized to discover and share great sneaker designs?
Angel: The Internet has had a huge impact in how people interact now. Especially with all the current social networks. Certain forums have also had an impact on how people create their designs. One of the biggest influences is how others share their creations which each other. The excitement to see another new take on certain popular silhouettes, like the Air Max 1 iDs, made others want to make more and more of that iD shoe. There’s always been a few people out there that are really good in creating designs that had great color-ways, enough that others would just recreate it.
NIKEiD: Your approach to NIKEiD design seems really unique - could walk us through how you chose a certain theme for the shoe? Do you design the shoe first then name it or find inspiration in nature and then work to design a shoe that goes hand in hand with it?
Angel: My design process is actually very simple. Sometimes I come across color-combinations around me and I write them down in a note on my phone. When I get home, I go to the NIKEiD site and start to play with the colors on the palettes. I’ll stay on for hours at a time trying to come up with the correct color scheme. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. A perfect example was when I was watching a movie a few months ago where there was a specific scene that had different hues of blue mixed with a golden color throughout the scene. What I did was take a snap shot of the paused movie and used that as reference to create one of my favorite NIKEiD’s, named after the movie. The inspiration comes pretty much when I see great color combos.
NIKEiD: Nice! Do you have specific pairs that you’re especially proud of?
Angel: Yes. There are three that stand out above them all, even though I love all of them. That would be the “Julep Crystal” Air Max 1 iDs, the Air Max 90 iDs inspired by the movie that I just mentioned, and the “Mid-Night Rose” Air Max 1 iDs. Funny thing, very first NIKEiD was the AM1 Mid-Night Rose and I still love it to this day.
NIKEiD: Do you have any dream fabric/pattern options for the AM1 that haven’t been made available before or do you like to stick to the classic fabrics?
Angel: I personally like to create designs with the classic synthetic suedes and meshes. Maybe a leather accent here or there is fine once in a while. At the end, I prerfer to stay classic. I think it’s one of the major factors that make the AM1 so popular to design on NIKEiD. Options are always welcomed, but a lot of the mayor and OG fan base like to keep it simple.
That said, I think there have been many fabrics that we have seen within the last two years that have been fun to play with. It’s really tough to say. I think I would rather see a whole new option to the AM1 all together. Premium fabrics would be a dream come true. Perhaps something like the Bespoke Air Force one options. I think fans would go bananas over that. Being able to have full control of your design and having an almost endless stream of colors and fabrics would be what I would want.
All images property of Angel Gonzalez/Vagrant Sneaker.