Posted by Diane Lieu
October 03, 2016 • Maker Series, spotlight
For the month of October, we're following a few members on the #ApronSquad who rock our aprons in places other than the kitchen. First up, we have a cobbler with a serious squad himself.
Dominic Chambrone, or The Shoe Surgeon as he's known on Instagram, has over 117,000 followers. He runs a custom footwear company that has legions of fans dying over his newest creation - whether they're crocodile skin Nikes or custom vegetable tanned high tops. He doesn't like the label "customizer" and is clearly devoted to his craft of deconstructing and reconstructing kicks. Just like with our aprons, there is patterning, sewing, hand lasting that adds up to hours to create a pair of quality shoes that you won't find anywhere else. We had Dominic in at Apron HQ where we talked about shoes, balance and food, of course.
Shoes are a staple , you wear shoes to walk EVERYWHERE. They are vehicles to save our skin/bones from the hard ground that we the human also created. (concrete). Shoes are my vessel of self expression. The amount of time and energy that goes into shoes (whether made in China or by hand in America) is much more than any other fashion wearable product in my opinion.
With the A List clientele you have, who did you have most fun creating something with & why?
There is no "favorite" no "most" I just enjoy creating with other artists and other people with great energy. I enjoy vibing off of each other and creating something purely from energy. I enjoy creating for anyone who really gets what goes into each pair.
Biggest challenges that you face as a cobbler?
The biggest challenge was always myself. I don't think it matters if you're a cobbler or a cook. In the beginning you are the biggest challenge and once you figure that out and handle that you're good!
How do you find balance between your family, work & everything else in-between?
I currently don't find a healthy balance. Believe it or not I'm still just in the beginning phase of the business.
What/who influences your design?
There is no 1 person or "thing" ... it can change at any moment from food, art, fashion, nature, architecture, reading, kids, etc.. [the] list goes on most everything comes naturally and organically.
What are your favorite restaurants in LA?
Do you cook at home? If so, what are your favorite dishes to make?
I don't currently cook, I come from a big Italian family who's been in the restaurant industry since I was born. I did cook when i was younger but since didn't need to since my Dad, mom and 3 brothers are amazing chefs. My youngest brother Angelo was the youngest head chef in Napa Valley. Can't forget my wife, She's an amazing chef and we LOVE to eat.
Favorite dishes - again "favorites" don't truly exist for me. I find something amazing and different in each one.
Photos by Lily Glass