Native artist Charlene Holy Bear has updated the classic skateboard sneakers design with a colorful, symmetric hand-beading technique. Holy Bear's venture within the world of footwear stems from her last-minute decision to attend the annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque. It is customary for attendees of North America's largest pow-wow to dress up in traditional regalia. As the native artist had no time to prepare outfits, she hand-beaded her four-year-old son's Vans slip-ons, employing the vibrant and detail-oriented technique of traditional Lakota beadwork.
The handcrafted design of the skateboard sneakers caught the attention of festival attendees and soon, a photo of the unique pair surfaced on Pinterest. Holy Bear was contacted by the communications director of PayPal, who urged her to make her a custom pair.
Photo Credits: Charlene Holy Bear