One-of-a-kind kicks: Local artist creates custom footwear


A local artist is helping her customers put their best foot forward with custom, handpainted sneakers. 

 Olivia Luciani designs, paints, and sells customized footwear all over the world through her business, Laced by Liv. She creates the one-of-a-kind artwork in her Niagara Falls apartment. 

Luciani can put a custom design on any type of footwear- from canvas Vans to leather sneakers and even ski boots- but most of her work goes on basketball shoes. 

“I know a lot of basketball players, and Instagram has a lot of blogs that feature customized basketball shoes,”  she said. 

 Luciani, 25, played basketball while she attended Buffalo State. 

She started her business toward the end of her college career, when she cleaned fellow students’ shoes. 

“Someone came to me and asked me to change the color of their shoes,” Luciani said. “I’ve always been able to draw, so I made the easy transition.” 

The process of creating the unique kicks can take anywhere from five to 20 or more hours, depending on what type of design the customer wants. 

Luciani never repeats a design. 

“The whole purpose of it is to be original,” she said. 

Luciani’s custom creations are in demand- her waitlist is currently six weeks long, and she has received orders from as far away as Germany. 

“Instagram is really great- I’d say 80 percent of my business is from Instagram,” she said. 

If you’d like to jump the waitlist and get a customized pair of sneakers from Luciani, she will be live-painting at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 30. Customers will be able to buy a pair of on-sale Reebok Classic Leathers and pick a design from Olivia’s book for her to put on them. 

For more information, click here. 

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