Exclusive: Mache Talks His Debut Sneaker, the Runner Centralia
One of kings of the custom sneaker game, Dan ‘Mache’ Gamache has created some of the most famed crep creations of all time. He’s worked close to 20 years to perfect craft, with his unique approach catching the eyes of various leading sneaker brands, as well as stars from the NFL, MLB, NBA and WWE. With that wealth of experience under his belt, Mache is undertaking something completely new with his latest project – he’s releasing his very own sneaker!
Ahead of the release of the all-new Runner Centralia, we caught up with the Mache to discuss the sneaker's design ethos, and what it’s like to go from sneaker customiser to creator.
First of all, congrats on the new sneaker! What was your design approach for the Mache Runner Centralia? Where did you draw inspiration from?
As a fan of so many styles of shoes, I wanted to focus on what I wear today, what I prefer. I knew I wanted to go a runner style, as that’s pretty much all I wear these days. I started with the Vibram tooling, and worked my way up. I wanted the shape to be right. As someone who understands that shape of a runner can be a huge factor, it took countless revisions until I was 100 per cent happy with it.
When designing the uppers, I was big on the layering of different materials to create a cool balance of familiarity and something new. I’ve heard feedback saying the shoe reminds people of either the sacai Waffle or an Air Max, and I can see how they draw that conclusion.
As a sneaker fan knew what I personally liked from the past and looked to put my own fresh take on it. Centralia is the colourway based off the ‘graffiti highway’ located at the now-deserted old mining town of Centralia, PA. The grey nubuck base represents the asphalt of the road, and the layering of the different colours represent the layers of tags and artwork laid upon the highway. For this theme, the silhouette really did help carry the story.
How does the design process for your own sneaker differ from your familiar process with custom sneakers?
First off, I never thought I could design my own shoe. For years, people asked me when was I coming out with a Mache shoe, and I always looked at myself as the artist who would always put my work on top of an existing design. Having many friends who are recon custom guys, I was pretty familiar with the process already, and I think knowing as much as I did was a big reason I was so hesitant in the first place.
When you’re painting a shoe, you’re adding a one-dimensions layer on top. When you’re designing, you’re forced to imagine it in 3D.
Do you have plans to expand the lineup? If so, what can we expect?
The overlying theme of the Mache Runner model is ‘travel’ and under-the-radar landmarks in the US. So, every colourway that comes out is based off of a certain place or landmark here in the US. Every shoe will have a story, and a special box, as I am creating clothing pieces to accompany each story. It’s really exciting for me.
What else do you have the pipeline? Any other dream projects you’d like to tick off the list?
I’d love for this line to be successful, not just because supporters of mine support it, but because I’m putting out great product. I plan to come out with more original silhouettes, and hey, you never know maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity to work with other brands for collaborations on my model, as opposed to me working on their model (laughs)!
You can pre-order the Mache Run Centralia on August 28, from 11AM EST. The order window will be open for 72 hours, exclusively on Machecustoms.com. It will be arriving in full sizes, ranging from men’s 5 to 14.