The Man with Million-yuan hands
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.”