You should know the Instagram handle @j.theripper, you should have seen his work grace just about every sneaker blog on the interwebs, including the one you’re reading now, if you don’t jump on that Google machine and take a look at the mans work, because he needs no introduction.
I met The Recon Don at the Calgary YYCsolediers sneaker event 2015, this was before the Kicksonfire feature, before the Hender Scheme Ultra Boosts, before the thousands and thousands of IG followers, at this point he was a local customizer I had heard of from recently completing work for a couple friends of mine.
Once I saw his work in person, I knew he was serious, this guy had serious skill. We started chopping it up talking about ideas and Mr.Ripper mentioned he wanted to do something different, something away from the norm of orders and requests recon designers receive, and this was at the same time that I was hearing some Asics enthusiasts complaining about the 25th anniversary Gel Lyte III collabs and that’s when I suggested we do one of our own. I wanted to see the pair dressed in denim with a black leather toe, inspired by the classic biker look of Black Leather & Blue Jeans, but the thing that separated them from any other GL3 is that I wanted the split tongue to have a zipper, something no one had ever done, a subtle but extremely noticeable difference. J hit me with a few mock ups and renditions and the ones I liked best was when he brought the leather from toe to heel along the bottom portion of the sneaker, but the problem was he also included a denim toe to heel rendition and I couldn’t figure out which I liked more, so we decided to do both.
Soon after this things happened, a lot of things, I can’t pick the pair off the top of my head but the guy exploded, might’ve been the Red October Air Yeezy 750 mash up, the Fuck You 13’s, the JTR-888 Yeezy 550, his Paris AJ1 or any other of the mans masterpieces, but he became busy, sought out from across the globe, and our outside-the-box-fun project got delayed, but let me be clear; when I say that I don’t mean it in any negative way, when we had the ideas we came to an agreement that I couldn’t say no to and couldn’t have been done with anyone else, so I was happy to see dude shine, when he shines, our city shines and when our city shines, I can feel it.
Then without notice, BAM! My Instagram DM had a teaser photo, and then another and before I knew it I was walking into a Shisha lounge to pick up my one of a kind kicks. Waiting for me in his factory made custom Jack The Ripper 888 blacked out box, there they were, hidden behind paper sealed with a blood red wax J. A mix of soft black leather and distressed APC denim (shout out to my man Jordan), they were perfect, each stitch, each line, the shape, the man is an artist, laceless but something that he left for a surprise was that only one shoe had my requested zipper, the other uses the APC button fly, genius, the perfect murder.
Let us know what you think of the mans first Asics, check out his IG & site and if you’re a fan of the AJ3 and Kobe Bryant get your credit card ready because October 29th at 11am EST he is dropping these, limited to 3 pairs and stay tuned for Making a Murder PT2.
All photography by @justkalby