Louis Blaut, the founder of custom apparel company Soul Purpose Designs (“Kicks with Character”), clearly puts a lot of love into his custom shoes.
His four new custom shoe designs, for example–“The Ax” (inspired by a Gibson guitar), “The Etheria” (inspired by ’80s superhero She-Ra), “The Mischief” (inspired by Disney’s Maleficent), and “The Prince” (inspired by Aladdin’s turban from Disney’s “Aladdin”)–are dedicated to his brother and three sisters.
(They must be one seriously cool, stylish family.)
But the love doesn’t stop there. As he explains: “Soul Purpose Designs was built on a love for the arts and a desire to give back to the arts community.”
Along that course, Soul Purpose Designs has pledged a portion of its profits to superb arts education organizations and has committed to manufacturing their products under fair trade certification guidelines.
While it’s not unusual for companies like this to give back to their community, the one-of-a-kind products coming out of Soul Purpose Designs are not only improving lives, they’re turning heads and dropping jaws.
And if you’re a shoe lover–especially someone who loves creativity and comic book/film culture–your jaw will quickly drop when you see their latest creations.
Four Custom Kicks That Will Make Shoe Lovers Drool
One thing that’s especially impressive about Soul Purpose Designs is their commitment to brainstorming concepts, as Louis explains: “We spent 365 days on 365 designs with a goal of creating unique wearable sneaker art inspired by Hip-Hop, pop culture, comic books, and cartoons of the 80’s, 90’s and beyond, as well as iconic objects like guitars, hot air balloons, and super cars.”
With such a deep appreciation for pop culture and aesthetic variety, it’s no wonder Soul Purpose came up with these unique shoe concepts:
1. The Ax
Soul Purpose’s founder, Louis Blaut, learned to play guitar on a Gibson six-string. It’s only fitting then that this shoe, appropriately named “The Ax,” is modeled after the look of that rock guitar. It has:
- Whiskey leather upper with embossed teardrop
- Elastic guitar strings
- Leather and elastic strap with actual fret bars
- A heel tab with real guitar tuning pegs that will, as their Kickstarter page says, “Keep your step in ‘tune.'”
The shoe is made in tribute to Louis’s brother Scott, which adds a nice heart-warming touch to the shoe’s backstory.
2. The Etheria
She-Ra, the glorious ’80s Princess of Power, is given the star treatment in this shoe with design features all centered around her awesomeness (and in tribute to her famous tiara):
- A gold molded leather heal tab
- Royal blue lining
- A gold leather and elastic strap
- A ruby jewel
(Louis dedicated this shoe to his oldest sister Josephine.)
3. The Mischief
Maleficent, thanks in part to Angelina Jolie’s semi-recent live-action incarnation of the classic Disney villain, has become prominent in recent pop culture. “The Mischief” promises to add even more intrigue to the legend of Disney’s favorite witch:
- Maleficent-shaded plush green suede
- Red suede and lining
- Smooth black leather with 3M piping for flash
(Louis dedicated this shoe to his middle sister Samantha.)
4. The Prince
Soul Purpose even delves into some serious ’90s nostalgia with “The Prince.” This shoe, if you can believe it, draws its design features from the turban worn by Aladdin in Disney’s ’90s classic “Aladdin.”
And it works.
This “regal sneaker,” as the company calls it, has:
- A vacuum formed satin heal tab
- Gold basket weave
- Royal blue suede
- Jeweled accents for shine
- A feather to keep it “fly”
If this doesn’t make you want to sing “A Whole New World,” then nothing will.
(Louis dedicated this shoe design to his youngest sister Toniann.)
Soul Purpose Designs: Hip-Hop Apparel With a Positive Twist
Soul Purpose also has some unique accompanying apparel, including styles inspired by common Hip-Hop vernacular infused with positive messages.
With a clever use of acronyms, their H.Y.P.E. style is a great example. From their Kickstarter page:
H.Y.P.E. – Help Your People Excel shirts are inspired by the Dougie Fresh – the ultimate HypeMan. Like the others in the series, it was created using Hip-Hop culture’s tradition of using Acronyms as word play with a custom graffiti style font. #FindYourSoulPurpose no matter what stands in your way. Made with 100% cotton triple stitched for durability and comfort.
One-of-a-Kind Fashion for Good Causes
What makes Soul Purpose feel authentic and made with love, however, is its diligent commitment to the arts and to giving back to the community. In fact, 15% of all profits will go to support arts education through:
All three organizations are doing exceptional work. Materials for the Arts, for example, are doing this amazing mission in New York City:
[Materials for the Arts] collects a wide variety of reusable materials from businesses and individuals and make them available for free to nonprofits and civic organizations with arts programming and public schools. By providing a way for people to donate their unneeded supplies to thousands of creative and educational activities across the five boroughs, MFTA diverts over 1 million pounds of materials from the landfill each year.
Soul Purpose’s Kickstarter Campaign: Grab Your Own Pair of Custom Shoes
If you’re eager to try on a pair of Soul Purpose sneakers, you can join their Kickstarter campaign. (And you better do it fast as it ends in two weeks, Saturday, April 8.) After the campaign ends and the development and production stages are completed, incentives and shoes will be delivered beginning September 2017.
The incentives of their campaign range from one-of-a-kind logo sticker packs to shoes custom-made for you. At the next to highest level of backing, Soul Purpose will actually make a custom version of a shoe design just for you that will never be made available to the public.
Of course, at the highest level–the top incentive–you can actually fly out to NYC, meet Louis the founder of Soul Purpose, collaborate with him on a new shoe design, and receive a custom pair made just for you. At that point, your shoes will be so rare that you might be tempted to put them in a display case instead of wearing them.
If my enthusiasm is boiling over too much in this article, I won’t apologize for that because, frankly, companies (and sneakers) like Soul Purpose don’t come around every day. When they do, it’s worth trying them on–especially if they happen to be shoes inspired by a rock guitar.