Give your sneakers a special twist with Kraftka
Bored of your plain old sneakers, or can you never find new ones with just the right pattern? Have you ever wanted to design your own shoes, or do you need a personalised gift for somebody? If your answer to any of these question is ‘yes’, then check out Kraftka, an international, “crowd-created”, online fashion label-cum-social network for artists and sneaker lovers.
Sounds intriguing, right? Then let’s break it down to the essentials. First of all, Kraftka is an online platform founded by Bangkok native Chanasinj ‘Sunny’ Sachdev. With a background in fashion—he works with brands including Pronto Denim, Superdry, and Freitag—Sunny got inspired by his wife who handcustomized a pair of sneakers for him. “I thought it was amazing to put art on other unique items rather than just the usual T-shirt”, he says, and decided to use this idea, and his knowledge, to create a brand of his own—but with a unique twist. On the heels of its recent soft launch, the brand will celebrate a grand opening in Bangkok in July.
Basically, there are two groups of users invoved—the designers, and the wearers. While artists and creative people are given the tools to design, and share their own sneaker patterns, customers form around the world can use the website to discover, order, and wear those pieces of art. “Usually, people choose products that are already created by their favourite artists; the most popular designs right now are by PUCK,” Sunny explains.
However, if you want to give it a shot, it’s also pretty easy to do the designing yourself by simply visiting the website www.kraftka.com, clicking the ‘kreate’ button, and uploading any JPG/PNG file, or photo. The shoes are then printed with environmentally friendly ink from Japan at a workshop in Ekkamai. They can then be sent almost everywhere on the globe.
Currently, the website offers more than 500 shoe designs, with a constantly growing choice with more than 100 designs coming every month. And since only very recently it is now not only possible to personalize sneakers, but flip flops and espadrilles will soon be complementing the array of shoe styles. “Every few months, we release fun new products for artists to put their art on to”, Sunny points out.
Additionally, there is also a large financial incentive to the business which gives artists the chance to turn their creativity into cash. Sneakers are available for 89 US dollars (approximately B3,200), and every time one shoe design is sold, the creator earns the equivalent of US 10 dollars in Kraftka-Koins. Consequently, the coins can either be used by the artist to buy a pair of shoes, or be withdrawn in cash.
With the goal to empower artists, help them earn money, and provide a platform for international exposure, Sunny has created the world’s first crowd-sourced fashion label which is not determined by a single vision, but a collective one. To sum it up in his own words: “It’s a brand made by everyone for everyone—putting art everywhere, and allowing everyone to express themselves through art.”