Local teenager’s designs walk the halls of CHS

By Emily Birnbaum Contest Manager

Mixing girls and shoes can be a lethal combination. When the right girl sees the right display of shoes, her eyes shine and widen. Her hands reach. Her feet begin to move. She will do anything to have them. But when shoe obsession mixes with art, a more interesting and trendy product is created. 

Fifteen-year-old Potomac resident Hannah Gordon is proof. She is the owner of a line of hand-painted shoes called Colorful Kicks. Her customers provide her with white Converse, Vans or Nike shoes, and she turns them into a personalized work of art.

 “When I was little, I was a sneaker fanatic and really into doodling and art,” Gordon said. “In middle school, I painted my first pair of shoes. I never thought it was going to turn into a big business. Last year, I got my first order from my friend Gillian, posted the pictures on Facebook, and it became a big hit.”

 Now, the business has expanded to more than just friends.

 “So far, I have had about 10 actual customers and dozens of people who are interested,” Gordon said.

 Gordon’s designs are beginning to become a trend in the halls of CHS. 

“The shoes Hannah painted for me are Monopoly themed,” sophomore Molly Berman said. “Monopoly’s my favorite game.”

 The trend has been spreading by word of mouth and has become the fashion buzz of the new school year.

“Hannah’s shoes are so cool,” sophomore Heloise Taillet said. “I like how you can request designs and basically get them custom made. I definitely want to get some, but I’m not sure what theme. Maybe Churchill themed.”

Just wearing the shoes around school has become a form of advertisement.

 “I found my shoes through Molly Berman,” sophomore Anna Tapparo said. “She had some cool ones, and I called Hannah.”

 The shoes can be designed in all sorts of ways, all based on themes conjured by the customer. She has painted shoes with themes like Skrillex, Brand New, Batman and The Beatles.

“I really like the Beatles shoes I painted and the Brand New shoes,” Gordon said. “They’re quite simple, but I like them.”

The shoes appeal to all ages.

 “Numerous different styles of people say they like my shoes, even parents,” Tapparo said. “The shoes Hannah painted for me are Pacman-themed. They have the gameboard on one shoe and the controller on the other.”

 The shoes usually cost $70-$170, depending on the design, and could cost more if Gordon buys the shoe herself.

 “I hope that Colorful Kicks becomes well known and respected,” Gordon said. “I don’t plan on making a huge business like Ed Hardy, but I do plan on working on Colorful Kicks for at least another two years.”

 Those interested can contact Gordon through her Facebook page.

 “I like my shoes because they are really cool looking, colorful, creative and one of a kind,” Berman said.