100 Creatives 2014: Marc Boone, Sneaker Gang Founder and Designer

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Marc Boone's a self-admitted sneaker-head. Boone grew up in what he calls "the hood," where he was "surrounded by thugs and drugs." He wasn't a member of a gang back then, but here recently he started one: the Sneaker Gang. The tag's a bit of a misnomer; Sneaker Gang is Boone's design firm specializing in street-wear fashion.

Given the culture that's grown up around sneakers, which can cost thousands of dollars and which have often been the target of thieves (including one cop recently busted for stealing sneakers), Boone often finds it necessary to say: "We're not condoning any gang related activities and we are not to be confused with one." He goes on to say, "we're affiliated" (a nice way of saying 'we got street cred but we aren't gangsters).

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What he does: CEO, founder and designer for Sneaker Gang, Boone is responsible for the design, manufacture and marketing of the company's sneakers and sneaker related products. An avid collector of sneakers, Boone found himself slowly losing interest in buying sneakers by other designers and so decided to venture out on his own. Fashion-savvy but untrained in design, Boone worked with an assistant to craft the first Sneaker Gang release, the Diamond Back (shown above). He talks about wanting to eventually build Sneaker Gang into a world wide brand with him designing, promoting, and managing the products, but at the moment he has smaller, more immediate goals like selling his current stock of Diamond Backs and building Web site traffic.

Boone plays down his role at Sneaker Gang: "[Really,] I'm [just] a 'sneaker head' that saw an opportunity to brand an image unique to the culture of sneaker lovers."

Why he likes it: "After many years of collecting sneakers during my childhood, my dream was to design my own shoe," Boone tells us. "I can't pinpoint one particular part of the process that I enjoy most since every single step and decision made is critical to the success of Sneaker Gang."

What inspires him: "Fashion is my life," he says. "I've always been known to have a keen sense of fashion." His Sneaker Gang designs were born out of his love for fashion and his real-world experience of wearing and collecting sneakers.

If not this, then what: Boone is a working police officer. Being a designer is his "if not this, then what" answer to working as a cop.

If not here, then where: Houston, Boone says, is a good place for his homebase but he predicts that he'll be traveling lots to the different trade shows and expos to show off Sneaker Gang products.

What's next:"Throughout the year [I'll travel] to relevant conventions and expos showcasing sneakers and apparel such as MAGIC Show, Agenda, The Bank Sale, and H-Town Sneaker Summit."

More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Andy McWilliams, sound designer and composer Maria-Elisa Heg, zine queen Allan Rodewald, artist Anne-Joelle Galley, artist Michelle Ellen Jones, ballroom dancer and actress Morris Malakoff, photographer and filmmaker Terrill Mitchell, dancer Deji Osinulu, photographer Mason Sweeney, artist K.J. Russell, sci-fi author and writing teacher Emily Robison, choreographer and filmmaker John Cramer, violinist and concertmaster Shipra Mehrotra, Odissi dancer and choreographer Winston Williams, comics artist Octavio Moreno, opera singer Dylan Godwin, actor, storyteller and teacher McKenna Jordan, independent bookstore owner Steven Trimble, mixed media artist Sandria Hu, visual artist and professor of art Robert Gouner AKA Goon73, photographer Shawna Forney and Erma Tijerina (aka SHER), culture gurus Mark Bradley, photographer James Ferry, comics artist Keith Parsons, author and philosophy professor Alonzo Williams Jr., photographer Rudy Zanzibar Campos, painter Paige Kiliany, director Betirri Bengtson, visual artist Melissa Maygrove, romance novelist Natalie Harris, bridal gown designer Larry McKee, cinematographer Tiffany Heath, filmmaker Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer Janine Hughes, visual artist Nyssa Juneau, artist John Merritt, artist Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright Jason Poland, cartoonist Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer Lloyd Gite, gallery owner Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor Jennifer Mathieu, author Scott Chitwood, writer Anat Ronen, urban artist Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter Michael Weems, playwright Lane Montoya, artist Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet Joey & Jaime, designers Suzi Taylor, photographer Ashton Miyako, dressmaker T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer

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