Mars-1 Sneaker

2021 / 2022

The Mars-1 sneakers were a collaboration between Mars-1The Chambers Project, and the Liminal Trading Company, with major help along the way from Zoltron. It was my first time collaborating with the two artists, and it is still one of the most amazing projects I have had the pleasure to work on.

The idea came to be after Brian from The Chambers Project took interest in a sample pair of the Sue Nami shoes I created with Zoltron. Not long after, he commissioned me to work on a pair of sneakers using Mars-1’s iconic Infinite Tapestry painting.

I drafted some ideas and shared them with Mars, Brian, and Zoltron. After some back and forth, we decided on a design that would utilize contrasting black and white suede panels adorned with the Infinite Tapestry dot pattern. It took a couple of tries to get it right, but in the end, we were all really happy with our resulting creation. I particularly enjoyed the collaborative nature of working with the other (much more experienced) artists to blend our individual visions into one successful collective design.

The next step was to contact a manufacturer and get production of the sneakers started. Luckily, I had already spent months finding the perfect sneaker manufacturer to fit my needs for the Zoltron Sue Nami shoe collab I had done the year prior. I placed an order, wired them the deposit, and voila, it was just a matter of time.

Well... it wasn’t quite that simple. Language barriers, electrical shortages, and global politics would all find ways to come between us and receiving our precious sneakers. The manufacturing process was finished just in time, maybe even a few days early. However, the long wait unexpectedly came in the form of shipping. As it turns out, shipping would be what would really come back to bite us, as we got our packages shipped at the peak of the global shipping gridlock following covid. We opted for air shipping over sea, wanting to get the sneakers into the hands of those who ordered them as soon as possible. However, it took weeks for the packages to even be boarded onto planes and flown and once they were, they sat in California warehouses for weeks as well.

The process was arduous, confusing, and sometimes frustrating, but in the end, highly rewarding. On some oddly sunny day in early 2022, dozens of massive pallet boxes showed up at my front door. I still remember the excitement I felt opening them up and seeing hundreds of black and white dotted boxes staring back at me. From there, it was factory manufacturing line time. I recruited my mom, dad, and girlfriend to help me sort sizes and begin fulfilling orders. I designed and signed certificates of authenticity, securely packed blotter prints into the boxes, and threw in some random Liminal stickers for good measure.

In the end, we shipped out over 300 boxes to the amusement and intrigue of the UPS workers who were assigned to come pick up our loads. Each pair of sneakers shipped in an all-over print Infinite Tapestry sneaker box, which inside contained a signed Mars-1 Infinite Tapestry blotter, as well as a ticket certifying their authenticity. The edition was limited to 300 sneakers and blotters.

Check out our documentation of the sneaker’s process on instagram.
one of the sneaker’s first tongue tag drafts 
(back when i was just using my first name, pre-liminal)
les claypool of primus holding one of our sneakers
infinite tapestry blotter art included with each pair of shoes
some behind the scenes production shots
mars & brian’s first time seeing the sneaker prototype IRL (2021) [oliver vernon in the back as well]
super HD