Whenever France is mentioned in a fashion context, the mind naturally leads one to scenes of Paris and, in particular, it’s fashion week.
However, in the south of the country, there is a quiet streetwear revolution taking place, and it’s happening on people’s feet.
Stan Birch, the founder of LoudSoulsCustoms, is the 23-year-old leader of Toulouse’s fashion revolt, one that is changing the norm and providing people individuality.
LoudSoulsCustoms takes in-demand sneakers and customizes them into one of one pairs. The business began when Stan realised he wanted to be involved in streetwear. He licensed the aforementioned name but then found creating a clothing brand to difficult.
Yet, he wasn’t to let his registered trading name and payment go to waste. Stan, instead of creating clothing, focused on footwear and took a pen, an Adidas NMD R1 PK and made an abstract design on it. Customization instantly became the thing he wanted to do.
“I take a shoe, a brush, some paint, and I just let my fingers, my mind, and my soul do the work.”
It’s the creative element that hooked Stan and he’s since gone onto build LoudSoulsCustoms into a brand that has a following of over 21,000 people on Instagram. Yet, in a market where customizers are appearing every day, Stan says there is no difference between his products and his competitors.
“I don’t think I am so different [to other customizers]. We all have a different way to express ourselves. A different way to show and to shout our creativity to the world.”
But his design technique is certainly unique when compared to others.
“I guess what could make me different is that I don’t use as many things as the others. No stencil. No sticky tape. No airbrush. I don’t do a preview of what I am going to create.”
Letting his mind flow, the creations he makes are impressively high quality and accurate. The quality also shines through on the brands Instagram.
“Everybody just takes ‘basic pictures’, I melt my customs into some good quality pictures with ‘Mises en Scene’.”
Snapped by the talented Nina Meguenni (@ninameguenni), it’s clear the chemistry between LoudSoulsCustoms’ photographer and Stan is there. “She’s with me from the beginning and always know what I want. She’s impressive.”
The customs are noticeable in every appearance they make on @loudsoulscustoms and they are highlighted clearly, becoming the focus of any onlookers’ attention.
And attention is what LoudSoulsCustoms are after.
“I edit the shoes Because, damn they are all the same! Wow guys, wake up! You need to have something different! People want to feel they are different. Everybody has a white pair of Nike AirForce 1. But how many people have a White AirForce 1 with a flower on it?”
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GOALS. #loudsoulscustoms 📸 @tommyscoffee 📸 . @ninameguenni & me wearing our @loudsoulsclothing shirts (Stay tuned). Sunday’s @sneakerallstars_event was great ! Thanks I all for your support and your kind words, I appreciated that. See you next time ! 🤙🏼 . #nike #hypebeast #supreme #girl #sneakers #offwhite #hskicks #highsnobiety #hsstyle #snobshots #sneakersevent #blvckxculture #lsdls ___________ @customizerdepot @hypebeastfr @hypebeaststyle @highsnobiety @highsnobietystyle @sneakerfreakermag
When quizzed on his inspiration, Stan said: “From nothing. I just do what my mind tells me to do. Colors are just colors. Each one goes with another one, depends on how you separate one from the other.”
It seems the lack of planning and inspiration plays a significant part in LoudSoulsCustom’s unique creations, and with a blank mind, Stan has created many notable sneakers.
His Nike AirMax ParisOnAir Contest entry, that was rejected due to his residence being in Toulouse, saw a mix of velvet, needlecord, linen, leather, silk and denim. Furthering the concept design of this shoe, Stan went ahead and made a physical copy, unlike most of the other entrants.
One of the 23-year-old’s favourite designs came in the form of an already existent concept; the Murakami Air Force 1.
“It took 7 days of work, 6 hours a day to create a shoe that already exists. But it’s one that I’m just in love with. It was horrible to do the same moves [creating the flowers] all the time but the result, wow!”
The effort is worth it, with many taking a liking to customized creps, it seems that this is the future, if not the present.
“Today, people just want to say to the world they are different. Even brands know, That’s exactly why they made the SwooshPack, because they know that the “Do It Yourself” movement is on its way.”
It seems the customization revolution is well underway and there’s a creative residing in Toulouse at the heart of it.
Stan Birch for LoudSoulsCustoms speaking to Wear? Magazine.
Images courtesy of LoudSoulsCustoms (@loudsoulscustoms)