EVEN territorial boundaries won't stop this Canada-based Pinoy sneaker customizer from creating art for his PBA idols.
With vague plans of combining his immense interest in basketball and his obvious talent in art, 36-year-old Maui Lucero took his shot in the sneaker-custom scene in late 2018. “November last year, na-engganyo lang ako i-try kasi nagfo-follow ako ng mga sneaker artist sa social media, and I saw how they do it based on their own unique styles," he said.
His first roadblock? Canvassing second-hand art tools online. "Good thing sa Canada, maraming gamit na mabilis nilang pinagsasawaan kaya nagaabang lang ako sa mga buy-and-sell,” he continued.
As an alumnus of FEU, one of his favorite players in the big league is SMB’s Terrence Romeo, whose on-court swag inspired him to transform his Peak TR7 platinum white to a Tamaraw colorway. He posted the final product in his Instagram account, garnering more than a few positive reactions from netizens.
The next thing he knew, big man Beau Belga sported one of his creations on court, paving the way for other PBA players to start messaging him for inquiries.
“Na-feature gawa ko sa PBA dahil kay Beau Belga, kaya thankful talaga ako sa tiwalang ibinigay niya. Naging malaki ang impact niya kasi nadagdagan yung mga players na nagpapagawa sa akin like sila Poy Erram, Kyles Lao, JR Guinahan, Scottie Thompson, Terrence Romeo, at nagkaroon din ako ng mga non-PBA players na clients. Bro Custom is for everyone,” Maui explained.
As he is currently based in Alberta, Canada, his family in the Philippines does the legwork to deliver the kicks to his clients: “May Bro Custom Pinas team kami, yung mom ko, brother, and sister, sila yung nagmi-meet-up sa mga nagpapa-custom sakin.”
For Maui, wearing a personalized sneaker is a way of “sending a message” and displaying one’s individuality through graphic art.
“People want to be able to express themselves, how they feel, and who they are through their shoes,” he said.