A heart-to-heart with renowned sneaker artist, James Dycoco

By Andy Tubig, Quickstrikeasia Manila

Meet James Dycoco, founder of IED Customs, a premium sneaker customizer that specializes in graphic designs and collabs on leather, suede and canvas sneakers.

His affinity with sneakers started back in 2014, when he purchased his first few pairs with cash prize won from a photography competition during his days as a Fine Arts student in Singapore.

“At first it was a way for me to combine my two passions: art and sneakers.”

Who could have known that this hobby of his would turn into a business cum passion project?

Soon enough, people began approaching him for customizations and restorations until Dycoco had to invest in more paint and machines. Not long after, IED Customs was born. 

Dycoco’s criteria for collecting are customizability and personal connection.

He has less than 20 in his collection right now, most of which are still DS though he wishes to have more customized sneakers in the likes of SBTG, Sekure D, Ph’s Kixflipped and more Filling Pieces sneakers.

“The most expensive pair I’ve ever owned was a pair of black AJ1 x Lance Mountains which I also sold a few months later. The most expensive pair I’ve ever customized is the AJ4 Ode to Art.”

Which incidentally was also the hardest piece he’d ever worked on.

“The design revolved around the aesthetics of eight great fine arts painters which also meant I had to make use of different painting techniques.”

This year, Dycoco hopes to take some time off to develop his own visual style and to conduct more Sneaker Overhaul workshops. His advice for sneaker heads?

“Don’t be a hypebeast. Don’t collect just to impress others. Find a real reason to collect or else you’ll lose the taste for it.”

And for those eyeing to start their own customization business, Dycoco emphasizes the need to start with your own sneakers and to educate yourself about sneaker culture.

“And the most important thing: never undersell yourself and your craft just because of the “do-it-for-the-low” artists.”

Want to rock a truly unique pair of sneakers that amps up your street cred?

Contact IED today via their Facebook page or Instagram.

Rates start at USD100 for basic designs and USD200 for graphic or complex designs.

P.S IED has a 1-2 month waiting time so make sure to book ahead!

In the meantime, Dycoco wishes to thank his family who have been with IED since day 1.

And of course to those whom he considers his sneaker fam:

A big shout out to Shoephoric, Quickstrike Asia & QSA Manila, Dex Laxamana, Capital Ph & SM City Malls. And his brothers in arms, RG, Wynn, Jose, Jhay Ar, Vinz, Jed(Goons) & JB(Sic).

And from QSA to you, keep the true spirit of sneaker collection burning.

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