Fly customisations

  • Wearable art: Custom shoes for the unique soul

By Dimithri Wijesinghe

We happened upon Fly customisations by chance. Mindlessly scrolling through TikTok, we came across the absolutely stunning transformation of a basic pair of DSI canvas shoes into the physical embodiment of 00:00 (Zero O’Clock) by BTS.

Fly customisations Founder Roman Fernando

The BTS-themed painting on the shoes prompted the immediate investigation of the man behind Fly customisations – Roman Fernando, an artist who has chosen the wearable as his canvas and is doing wonders reimagining people’s passions into custom artwork for their shoes.

Roman’s art is stunning, and the repertoire of incredible shoe makeovers is just as impressive. Sharing with us how he got started in transferring his interests as an artist to the wearable kind, he said that as someone who originally started off as a mixed medium artist, sharing his art work on his social media, despite the medium you present it in shoes, flat layouts, canvas, or anything, he believes it is all the same: It’s art.

He shared that since he was a young child, customisation has always been something he has had a knack for, starting off with trading cards when he was younger, where he would collect various superhero playing cards and then go on to make his own. “I would draw and write the abilities on visiting cards and transform them into new trading cards,” he said.

Roman said that customising shoes really started by chance. “I had a really old pair of shoes. I was going to throw it away, but I came across a tutorial online where they transformed old shoes and gave it a new life,” he went on. And so, Roman started breathing new life into various pairs of shoes, creating new pieces for his friends, who encouraged him to start a business and share his skill with a wider audience.

He shared that his big break really came because of the custom pair he did for his friend, popular Lankan YouTuber “ManiYa”, who asked for a custom pair with his own branding to wear for the Raigam Awards. This allowed more people to notice and come looking for Fly customisations.

Fly customisations is incredibly versatile in their service; you can always send Roman your own shoes to be customised. He said that he prefers and recommends that customers get used to the pair they want customised, which guarantees regular wear of the shoes after the artwork. He also added that since in Sri Lankan shoe sizes are not standardised, it is always best for the customer to purchase and try on the shoes before sending it to Roman. As for the design itself, Roman is happy to work with the customers and actualise their vision for the custom items.

Talking about the appeal of a custom pair of shoes, or any kind of custom wearable item, Roman shared that it really is an opportunity for individual expression. “Trust me, you have to experience it yourself; you feel like a celebrity when you have a customised item that is unique to you.”

It really is a different experience, and a history of exclusive limited offer items racking up amazing demand proves that people simply love to stand out – to be able to express their authentic selves. The custom shoes are also a wonderfully thoughtful gift option if you want to show somebody that you really know them and their interests.

Guaranteeing that the art work will last and will not peel even after generous use of the shoe, Roman shared that he is currently looking into expanding his canvases, maybe moving onto other items of clothing and accessories. The pricing depends on the intricacy of the detailing and area you wish to cover.

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Instagram: @fly.customizations