PROPHETS & PRODIGIES: Melonkicks
CAISSON collaborated with super-talented Martín Redondo González, better known as Melonkicks, on a masterful cc1801 Game Changer customization.
If you’re an NBA fan, chances are you’re familiar with Martín’s work, the artist having created numerous exclusives for Luka Doncic, Serge Ibaka, Sergio Llull, and Rudy Fernández, to name a few. Recently, he was one of the artists chosen by the Knicks to customize two pairs (one for Walt Clyde Frazier, the other for RJ Barrett) that were part of a charity auction for the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
Martín has been customizing shoes since the 80s. Bored with the sneakers he had, he modified, painted, and dyed them. Over time, his hobby turned into an obsession, and the rest, as they say, is history for Spain’s most famous sneaker customizer.
Post includes excerpts from recent articles in Gigantes del Basket and Men’s Health Spain.
GIGANTES DEL BASKET: When you started, did you have in mind to do unique things?
MELONKICKS: More than doing unique things, it was about changing what you were able to buy into what you really wanted. We couldn’t afford the shoe we wanted, so the idea was to bring what you had closer to what you couldn’t buy.
G: Do you still have that mentality today?
M: Now I am going more for differentiation, for creating something unique. Giving a spin to what there is to make it different. Put the colors of a classic adidas on a new model. Make a Jordan I look like a Jordan V. Have something unique because it is hand painted and even if you make two pairs of the same style they will never be identical.
G: At this point, can you go shopping for shoes without thinking about the changes you would make or is it inevitable?
M: You always think about it, although I am very fond of the shoes of my time. When a model is well made and with its original colors, you have to respect them.
G: How did you get into customizing for professional athletes?
M: Ana Peleteiro (champion triple jumper, Olympic medalist) ordered some shoes to give to her boyfriend. It just grew from there.
G: Who was the first recognized basketball player to come to you?
M: The first ones I made shoes to play in were Sergio Llull and Luka Doncic.
G: What does it mean to you that someone like Luka Doncic is playing in the NBA in your shoes?
M: For me it’s amazing that some shoes that I have made step on an NBA, ACB, or Euroleague court. I’ve always wanted to play basketball, but I am not tall or talented and this is one way I have achieved it. In the end, somehow, you are there.
G: Who would be your top player to paint some shoes for? Michael Jordan doesn’t count!
M: So… Magic Johnson. I would make him a Converse Weapon with a portrait, although I would have to think about it a lot because it would be a very big responsibility.
G: In your studio we can see many skateboards. Do you have a past in the skateboard world?
M: I’ve never had the patience to learn to skate, but I love the aesthetics of skateboarding and decks are a really cool canvas.
G: There are many open fronts. Where do you see yourself in a few years?
M: I think this is on the rise. There is much still to be explored and many things to do. There is a lot of trending towards increased personalization. There has come a time when we can buy almost anything and we all wear the same, so there is a lot of demand to differentiate ourselves with personalization.