The Man with Mil­lion-yuan hands

NewsChina - - CULTURE -

They say Luo Han, a renowned sneaker de­signer, has a pair of hands worth mil­lions of yuan.

In his 300-square meter stu­dio in Songzhuang, an artist colony in Bei­jing’s eastern sub­urbs, Luo was busy re­col­or­ing branded sneak­ers at a cus­tomer’s re­quest.

He shot to fame in 2011 af­ter post­ing his grad­u­a­tion pro­ject, “Dooms­day Shoes,” on a num­ber of on­line fo­rums. Photos of the shoes were retweeted by tens of thou­sands of In­ter­net users, some of whom in­vited him to re­design their own shoes.

Luo, who had changed jobs sev­eral times, fi­nally de­cided to fol­low his pas­sion six years ago and opened an on­line store to sell cus­tom-de­signed shoes.

The de­sign fee for a pair of shoes ranges from 600 yuan (US$94) to 1,500 yuan (US$237), de­pend­ing on how dif­fi­cult the work might be. He has two rules: only paint new or as new shoes, and never paint fake sneak­ers. He says he can only do his best work on shoes that are in good con­di­tion.

Luo’s hands are his tools – and he has pur­chased in­surance for them to­tal­ing one mil­lion yuan (US$158,217).

Shoe de­sign­ing is a busi­ness as well as an art, he says. Luo be­lieves a good de­signer must bal­ance cus­tomers’ needs and the artist’s own ideas. He has made cus­tom T-shirts for him­self and the mem­bers of his team, which have four char­ac­ters on them: “Shi Xie Ru Ming,” mean­ing “love shoes as you love life.”

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