Mache Custom Kicks

Dress Code: Mache's Sneaker Designs Create Limitless Abilities For Aspiring Designers

From LeBron James to Jay-Z, meet the industry's favorite sneaker designer. 

‘Dress Code’ is VIBE’s fashion and style series, where were we test drive rising brands from an everyday life point of view.

Mache Says

Founder: Dan “Mache” Gamache

Happy Customers: Jay-Z, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Sam Saunders, Desus & Mero, Nipsey Hussle, Gucci Mane, Ronda Rousey, Yo Gotti, Marshawn Lynch, Young Thug

On Mache’s Humble Beginnings and First Design:

We’ve got our hoods in Poughkeepsie, New York. It's funny because my wife is from Norwalk and she was like, 'Well, I've been to where you are and it's country.' and I'm like, 'Well no, you have to drive through the country to get there.’ I didn’t live in the country. You go 10 minutes this way, you're in a cow-house, 10 this way you're in the projects so you have to pick your poison.

My first design was six shades of purple Air Max 90s, it was during the Dipset wave so it had the big bird gang design on the back. They were terrible in hindsight because there's no was no YouTube on how to do this, you had to learn through trial and error.

On The Design Process:

I'm fun art guy, I'm really big on realism but I feel like, with the times, people are taking to the DIY-looking customs. I go back to people like Virgil Abloh because he has such a big impact on sneaker culture. I think it's cool just to draw on your shoes. It inspires people who aren't creative or artistic to be able to do this, so it works for me.

I'm really jaded since I'm an old guy and I'm seeing all these kids have all these resources that I didn't, so they have a head start. There wasn't even a MySpace when I started. I see these kids and think, "They have the tools, they have the smartphones. I had a Nokia. (Laughs)

With the Samsung 10+, I’m able to showcase my designs without using 15 different apps to edit my photos. They have the "live focus" feature so you just have to slide to it and it’s there. I’ve been playing with it all day. It’s just the ease of it. You’re also able to post the photos right after and obviously, it’s not anything crazy but they just make it easy for the consumer and creatives.

Like everybody else, I'm working and I always have my phone in front of me. It's safe to say I have anxiety if I don't have it near me. A lot of times when I’m designing shoes for events, I’m using my phone to showcase the image I’m designing on the shoe so the Galaxy S10+ helps with that. I was just using it for [VIBE’s 1996 Death Row Records cover], design at SXSW. I was using my phone to create them and those shoes went to Suge’s son which is pretty cool.

Their Uniqueness In The Marketplace:

I always equate tattoos to what I do. People ask how long things take or how much things cost. I'm like, "If you want a back piece, you're gonna wait for a long time and you're going to pay a lot." If you want the Sistine Chapel on a pair of shoes, you're gonna pay a lot and you're going to wait.

I didn’t anticipate any of this. I used to play baseball so when I got the injury, I just knew I would go to designing. I lucked out on and that's how I look at it. When I was a kid, I thought I would play sports; I drew Garfield and stuff as a kid.

You hear that term "starving artist," that's what I was for the first 10 years. My wife now would pay my rent or if I didn’t make rent, I moved back in with my mom. It was that kind of thing; eating off the dollar menu, you had to do what you had to do. My wife was really big on getting me to where I was going. She was like, "You shouldn't be here, you should be doing more than this." She saw the potential. So behind every successful man is a very strong woman, that is true.

How The Designer Wears His Shoes:

It varies honestly. I'm the type of guy who doesn't tie his shoes, so I'm more of a Miles Morales type of guy than anything, even at 40. It also depends on the shoe. For Air Maxes, I normally tie them up but I wear everything and anything I like. Whether it's Puma, whether it's Adidas, I don't care. No one has me to a contract so I'm going to wear whatever I want. (Laughs)

Favorite Item In The Vault:

It's more of an emotional attachment, but my favorite is the Air Jordan 5 Retro Black/Metallic Silver. When I was a kid, I lived in a trailer park so I didn't have a lot of money. At the time, they were just Jordans, not the “Jordan 4 or 5s.” I'd shovel driveways, mow lawns do all that stuff and got my first pair of Jordans. I was wearing Voit sneakers or Payless sneakers, no shade to them at all but I wanted to be cool. (Laughs) I'd be wearing the husky section Sears clothing but I had some nice sneakers on. That’s where my appreciation for footwear came in and the work ethic of it all. The 5s will always mean something to me. I even got them tattooed on me.

VIBE Says:

Desire Thompson, News Editor

There’s something special about having a custom design on your shoes. It presents your personality in a very unique way so it’s refreshing that Mache can help bring a vision or a design to life. It’s also reminiscent of the days of graffiti on the subway or spray-painted images of on your clothes. I remember being 15 and my best friend would design our names on our Timbs. We thought we were so cool, so this definitely reminds me of those days.

Christine Imarenezor, Executive Editor

To own a pair of cool kicks will never die, I'm convinced. Owning at least one pair of customized sneakers is practically a hypebeast necessity. Nothing beats having a one of a kind design on your feet, especially when you can walk around proudly, knowing no one can find another like your kicks. It's crazy how Mache has religiously designed each and every shoe by hand. Just watching him happily do so takes me back to my own colored pencil-whipping, acrylic paint-dipping art class days of the past. What's even more inspiring is Mache's ability to genuinely pursue what he loves while contributing to the fashion world at large. Pretty dope. Now, let me go jam to Nelly's "Air Force Ones."

From the Web

More on Vibe

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodman

Rihanna Teases New Fenty Eyewear While Fans Beg For An Album

Rihanna has been busy donating millions during the global pandemic and debuting new gear from her Fenty and Savage x Fenty brands. The latest in the lot of Fenty merch are sunglasses which Rih Rih has been teasing on Instagram this week, but her Navy of fans seem to be ready for the album to drop already.

Regardless of how impatient the fans are, Rihanna is taking her time with her long-awaited ninth studio effort. A fan wrote, “Where’s the album?” under one of Rih’s eyewear posts and she replied, “I lost it.”


View this post on Instagram


#OffRecord on now....can’t say I didn’t warn ya! @fenty

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on May 13, 2020 at 3:24pm PDT

Retailing for $340, the Fenty eyewear line debuts on May 20. Split into two designs: Coded and Off Record, the sunglasses come in a variety of colors including, Candy Pink, Acid Green, Jet Black, and Milky Way.


View this post on Instagram


the Jet Blacks are for life, but this Milky Way is sumn sexy #Coded @fenty

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on May 14, 2020 at 3:56pm PDT

Besides eyewear, Rihanna’s luxury fashion line with LVMH — which launched in 2019 — features coats, dresses, pants, skirts and jewelry.

The 32-year-old singer and fashion mogul opened up about her influence over the Fenty line in an interview with Vogue last November. “I’m not the face of my brand, but I am the muse, and my DNA has to run all the way through it,” she explained. “I don’t want anyone to pull up my website and think, Rihanna would never wear that.”

Continue Reading
Courtesy of BooHoo Man

BoohooMan Collaborates With Quavo On New Streetwear Collection

COVID-19 has everyone stuck inside in the house, but you still need fresh clothes for the day you step outside. With this, BoohooMan has joined forces with multi-talented rapper Quavo on an exclusive 200-piece collection for 2019's spring and summer.

The collection, inspired by Quavo’s style, will be available April 8, and will feature pieces like tracksuits, double denims, t-shirts, velour two pieces, and much more.


View this post on Instagram


❌ DRIP INCOMING ❌ 15 days until the biggest collaboration of the season drops 💯 Who's copping?👇 #boohooMANxQuavo

A post shared by boohooMAN (@boohoomanofficial) on Mar 27, 2019 at 11:16am PDT

“Collaborating with boohooMAN is special because they just really are the first team that let me open my creative mindset and just bring my ideas to life," Quavo said via press statement. "When I met the team they were young and represented the culture so I thought, ok, we can collaborate and do something special. I’m happy for it to come around again. This time it’s better," the Migos member continued.

Accessories also includes bucket hats, bum bags, peak caps, sliders, transparent PVC body bags, among others.

“Working on this second drop with Quavo came so naturally to all involved," said Shane Chin, head designer at boohooMAN. "Quavo has a really distinctive style, so despite the majority of it being striking, it is ultimately all very wearable, which is what we do best – provide products that speak to the uniqueness in us all," Chin continued.


View this post on Instagram


boohooMAN x H U N C H O. Coming soon 🥶☔️

A post shared by boohooMAN (@boohoomanofficial) on Apr 1, 2020 at 7:00am PDT

BoohooMAN has worked with the likes of Tyga, Rae Sremmurd, French Montana and others. This collection includes 100 items, and ranges from the prices of $12 - $80, which can be found here.

Continue Reading
Event attendees admire the limited-edition Sprite Ginger Collection items at the Sprite drop event at Extra Butter NY, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Sprite®

Sprite Launches Sprite Ginger Capsule Collection In New York City

Sprite is testing out another way for you to "obey your thirst" or "thirst for yours" with its new Sprite Ginger flavor. Introduced earlier this month, the addition to the soft drink's portfolio  "brings together the classic lemon-lime taste of Sprite with a hit of ginger flavor in every sip," according to a Coca Cola press release

To celebrate the brand's "spirit of reinvention," Sprite worked with veteran streetwear designer Jeff Staple and a team of young tastemakers and artists to develop the limited-edition “Sprite Ginger Collection,” inspired by reinvention and by the facets of culture permeating hip hop, fashion, music, and art. At a private event earlier this month at New York City's Extra Butter, Sprite debuted the brand's first limited-edition creative capsule by Staple and 9 other creatives, which consists of hoodies, jackets, jewelry, tees and more.

During a panel discussion moderated by Hearst style director, Tiffany Reid, Staple alongside creatives BLUBOY, Barbara Rego and Elan Watson chatted about drop culture, how young artists can make their mark in the industry, and the importance of reinvention.

"Having a [fashion] brand for 20+ years almost requires you, necessitates you to reinvent yourself because there's no way you can do the same thing for, forget 20 years, even 3 years before you're literally dead," shared Staple. "To me, the opposite of reinvention is death because you're not moving forward. You're just completely stagnant.

"So for me, it was always me constantly trying every few seasons to figure out a way to reinvent myself. And not in a way where I needed to stay relevant. I never felt a need to stay relevant, but I wanted to actually be able to connect authentically with the next generation of creators because that is actually what inspires me."

Dapper Dan, Amara La Negra, Mack Wilds, and Sway Calloway were among the celebrities and influencers who made an appearance at the event. Harlem's own Dave East performed a couple of his records while DJ Va$htie provided sounds throughout the night while spinning on the ones and twos.

Over the next few weeks, Sprite and Staple will continue the search for up-and-coming designers and host a series of "re-workshops" Extra Butter. Scroll down to see more pictures from the event. For more info on where you get a bottle of Sprite Ginger, head over the As for where you can cop an item from the collection, follow @Sprite on Twitter and Instagram for surprise giveaways. You can also visit head over to for more Sprite swag!

Continue Reading

Top Stories