Shoe Culture

Local Artist Jack Fowler Takes On Custom Shoe Culture In OKC

Article by Heide Brandes

Photography by Heide Brandes and Provided

Originally published in OKC Lifestyle

Custom sneakers are the biggest fashion trend you may never have heard of. Globally, custom-decorated sneakers is a wildly-popular pop art form, and fans pay thousands of dollars for certain custom shoes and sneakers.

What makes this art so lucrative? It's the idea of owning a one-of-a-kind item, and Oklahoma City artist Jack Fowler is making his own custom-decorated Nikes for locals, fans and some pretty big names.

"Sneakerheads" like Fowler are producing their own artwork on shoes, and the demand is only growing.

"When my son turned 13 last year, he asked me for a pair of custom shoes. It's a whole culture that people take very seriously," Fowler said. "I painted a pair of Air Force 1s, and then we took a trip to New York for his birthday last December. He got tons of compliments on those shoes."

Fowler, who specializes in pop art-influenced landscapes, murals and portraits, said he discovered another way to express his art through sneakers. Oklahomans are catching on too.

"It's fun. This culture is so intense and expensive. They had custom shoes in the New York store that went for five figures," Fowler said. "I came back and posted those shoes I did online. I got a couple of commissions, and this year, I've done eight or nine pairs. I made some for the drummer from the Kings of Leon."

Fowler mostly paints on the classic Nike Jordans, but says he can work with other shoes as well. Many of the commissions are gifts for kids, spouses and collectors.

"I just made a pair for a kid in my hometown and it's just a good way to keep painting and a nice break from canvases too," he said.

For more information on commissioning custom-painted shoes or paintings, visit

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