CT sneaker designer was worn by Lebron James, Beyoncé

0

Over the past two decades, Gamache has turned his love for art, sneakers and sports into his full-time career making custom shoes for celebrities. Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, he went from painting shoes in his mother’s basement to starting his own shoe brand and designing shoes for WWE stars, musicians, athletes from the NBA and NFL at its New Haven County warehouse.

“Art has always been my thing, and I said I wanted to be a cartoonist or a baseball player,” he said.

His dream of becoming a professional baseball player came to an end when he tore his rotator cuff in his senior year of college. He got his master’s degree in art and then went to work in a school for autism. One day at work he was reading a magazine article about someone making custom shoes. He said that being a person who’s been in competitive sports all his life, he thought, “Well, I could do better.”

Daniel “Mache” Gamache and rapper Jay-Z.


Contributed by Daniel “Mache” Gamache
Daniel "Chewed up" Gamache and Yankee Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter.

Daniel “Mache” Gamache and Yankee Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.


Contributed by Daniel “Mache” Gamache
Daniel "Chewed up" Gamache and WWE star John Cena,

Daniel “Mache” Gamache and WWE star John Cena,


Contributed by Daniel “Mache” Gamache


Daniel “Mache” Gamache poses with Jay-Z, Derek Jeter and John Cena, for whom he designed sneakers. Daniel “Mache” Gamache / Contribution

“There was no YouTube back then on how to make custom shoes, so I just went to Michaels, bought some paint that had no business being on a pair of shoes, I bought some Nike AirMax’s and just started painting,” he said.

During a visit to a hair salon in New York in 2002, her hairstylist asked, “When did Nike release them?” to Gamache making custom sneakers for the rest of the store’s barbers. The sneakers became so popular that he said he had to make business cards to spread the word. He charged $50 to $75 for custom paint jobs and began to build a clientele.

Once social media became popular, Gamache said he connected with other shoe designers who gave him advice. He started by painting solid colors on sneakers, but once he started “getting familiar with painting” he started incorporating his works. Gamache developed his own unique style working with Molotow paint pens and airbrush paint. He said the goal of making good quality custom shoes is to make them feel like the design comes from the brand itself.

In 2008, Gamache decided to take a trip to New York where he heard that rapper, singer, songwriter and fashion designer Pharell was making an appearance for his streetwear brand, Billionaire Boys Club. Gamache took it upon himself to hand-deliver a pair of Reeboks personalized with a portrait of the musician.

Custom Reebok by Daniel "Chewed up" Gamache presented a portrait of Pharrell.

Daniel “Mache” Gamache’s custom Reeboks featured a portrait of Pharrell.

Contributed by Daniel “Mache” Gamache

“It was a risk because there was no guarantee he would get the shoes,” he said. , I saw them being given to him.

Gamache said he remembered Pharell posting the personalized sneakers on his BBC blog and later noticed it being featured on other blogs. He started posting more of his designs on Instagram not realizing who would come to his page.

Around 2011, Gamache quit his job to focus full-time on Mache Customs. He moved back in with his mother with his wife and would be in the basement “whipping” shoes until 4 a.m., he said.

“I give a lot of credit to my wife (Liz). Not only did she push me to follow my passion, but she gave me ideas for patterns or color combinations,” he said. “She is one of the main reasons why I am who I am today.”

The following year, an assistant to the NBA star, James, came into contact with Gamache. He customized another pair of “Lebron X” sneakers but with Iron-Man inspiration. James wore them to the 2013 All-Star Game in Houston.

After Justin Tucker of the New York Giants received a personalized pair of cleats from Gamache, he began giving the designer’s number to other teammates. Since football players’ faces are covered by their helmets, Gamache said players use cleats as a form of expression.

“Once people saw that I was designing custom cleats, a friend who knew I was a Minnesota Vikings fan put me in touch with the team and then I started making custom cleats. for them,” he said.

Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel"Chewed up" Gamache at its New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.

Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel “Mache” Gamache at his New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.


Jailene Cuevas / Hearst Connecticut Media
Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel"Chewed up" Gamache at its New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.

Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel “Mache” Gamache at his New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.


Jailene Cuevas / Hearst Connecticut Media
Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel"Chewed up" Gamache at its New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.

Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel “Mache” Gamache at his New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.


Jailene Cuevas / Hearst Connecticut Media
Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel"Chewed up" Gamache at its New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.

Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats made for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills by Daniel “Mache” Gamache at his New Haven County warehouse on September 1, 2022.


Jailene Cuevas / Hearst Connecticut Media


Daniel “Mache” Gamache designed Peaky Blinkers inspired cleats for Gabe Davis of the Buffalo Bills. Jailene Cuevas / Hearst CT Media Group

He developed a relationship with Stefon Diggs, who now plays for the Buffalo Bills, and said he designs new cleats for him all the time. Gamache said Diggs likes to incorporate current events into his cleats. “When Betty White and Bob Saget died, he asked me to design cleats in their honor,” he said.

This led to Gamache making cleats for many NFL athletes, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Gamache now calls his brand the “Lamborghini of NFL cleats”.

Buzz led Gamache to design for WWE stars like Nikki Bella, Shane McMahon, Becky Lynch, Kofi Kingston and more. He collaborated with Under Armor to create a custom pair of Under Armor Curry 4 with Xbox-inspired designs for a game console package launch.

During MLB All-Star Weekend 2022, Gamache unveiled six limited-edition custom Air Jordan cleats inspired by the career of shortstop and Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter. It highlights his career World Series wins.

“I got to talk with Derek for an hour, and he was asking me so many questions, which shows me he was into what he was seeing,” he said. “He’s the Brady of baseball and although I meet celebrities all the time, this one was different.”

In July 2022, Gamache collaborated with the Chicago White Sox to create a sneaker inspired by the team and South Chicago.

“I really had the opportunity to make shoes for my favorite baseball team,” he said. “They came to me and wanted to be the first professional team with their own shoe.”

Gamache said he used to keep a list of names of people he wanted to work with or design for; he crossed most of the names off his list. These names include rapper Jay Z, singer Beyoncé, WWE wrestler and actor John Cena, and rapper Quavo.

In August 2020, Gamache released his first pair of Mache Brand shoes, the Mache Run Centralia, inspired by a deserted town in Pennsylvania that is home to a graffiti-covered highway. Every month he releases a different shoe with a different story. For 72 hours, customers can pre-order the shoe through the website. The shoes are made in Philadelphia and the soles are imported from Italy.

“Even though I was known as the guy who customized the shoes, people would ask me, ‘When are you coming out with yours? “”, Did he declare. “What makes my shoes different is that they are inspired by different stories.”

Even though Gamache now has his own brand of sneakers, he said that wouldn’t stop him from customizing shoes for those who ask. This year marks 20 years since Gamache put paint on a brush and started painting sneakers.

“With the start of the NFL season, I’m going to be a busy man,” he laughs.

Share.

Comments are closed.