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Gola customised for Art Against Knives

We spoke to two of the students who customised kicks as part of Gola's Born in Britain project

Gola has given 25 students the opportunity to act as brand ambassadors, supporting the next generation of British talent in film, art, music and fashion by giving undergraduates total freedom to generate content and events over a 10 week period, showcased online at Born in Britain. A selection of artists customised trainers for auction, with proceeds going to Art Against Knives. We picked out two designs with a grassroots, DIY ethos and spoke to their creators.

Matthew Bovan, final year Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins

"I was really just inspired by quick drawings that I produce, letting myself draw whatever comes to mind: symbols and imagery I draw regularly came up. I'd like to add more layers so that the paint would distort and flake, making the design even more ambiguous. I'd hope to see someone wearing them who's not normally attracted to wearing trainers.

[I started customising] from a young age because, being a boy, everything came in dark/dull colours and had very little decoration. Most of my shoes are painted, again because men's shoes are usually in very boring colours and styles, I just started painting them as a teenager and haven't really looked back. I can now have any colour I want."

Lawrence Cox, final year Graphic Arts at Southampton University

"As a graphic designer I love to use different mediums depending on the message. I haven't previously worked on trainers and it was an exciting opportunity to test my illustrative skills on a 3D format.

The pattern used was from looking at structures. I changed an mp3 file into a raw file. This was then opened into photoshop which created a tiled pattern. I then illustrated this, subtracting lines, effectively abstracting the pattern. It creates a kind of optical illusion where the 3D elements are questioned by the viewer. I have previously created t-shirts and posters which use the pattern.

I'd like to see Marian Bantjes wearing them, a graphic designer/illustrator whose work has inspired me throughout my course. She creates intricate patterned work and beautiful typographic pieces."