Introcuction

Welcome to AF1King.com where the Nike Air Force One reigns supreme! While this website does carry loads of other exclusive sneakers, shirts, and custom kicks (hand painted or reconstructed authentic sneakers), my love for the Nike AF1 is the main reason I built this website.

My nickname is “Chef” and my sneaker enterprise / brand is called GourmetKickz. I began collecting kicks over 10 years ago and have been customizing them for about the same period of time. I am both a sneakerhead and an artist. Therefore there are two distinct product groups on this website: exclusive sneaker releases for resale, and custom kicks that have been modified by me. I also sell t-shirts which are designed by me as well as my crease-preventing shoe insert called The DeCreaseR.

I have been featured on the News and in several publications as a both a reputable collector and a noted artist. Please do not worry about the legitimacy of the items I carry here on this or any of my other websites, they are always 100% authentic and I do not support fakes in any way.

Art is NOT a Business here

I do not consider my custom sneaker services to be a “business” since it is more of an art. When you commission me to do work, do not think of our relationship as a “business relationship” think of it more as a canvas to artist relationship. There is no standard practice or exact method of predicting when and how projects will turn out. An artist is never completely sure of what his work will look like when complete, he just knows when to stop, step away, look at his work, and say “finis”. Therefore put aside all expectations of how YOU want business to occur, ultimately this is my Kitchen and I operate my Kitchen under my rules. If you bug me too much or I get tired of your needling emails asking when your piece will be started or completed, I may just choose to terminate your order. The items that I do consider to be a business are my accessories: shirts, DeCreaseRs, etc. You can expect pretty strict standards of practice on all items I don’t have to create by hand.

About my personal collection

My true passion is  for the Nike AF1, with special attention to the AF1 Low. I fell in love with the Nike Air Force line when they were introduced in 1982. Since then I have been following releases of this timeless classic. As an adult I am now an accomplished collector of the Nike Air Force, owning some of the most rare AF1’s known to man. Quickstrikes, Hyperstrikes, Collaboration series, Tier Zeros, Laser Editions, 1 Worlds, etc… I have some of everthing. The best part about this website is that you too can own a piece of my Nike collection by visiting the online store which is updated several times a week. Occasionally I will have listed a pair of deadstock classics from my personal collection. These sneakers are typically sizes from US 9.5 to 10.5

About my custom sneakers

This site also features a collection of Custom Nike Air Forces, custom foamposites, custom lebrons and other custom kicks that I have designed over the years. The goal of GourmetKickz is to serve custom sneakers in a restaurant themed fashion that places great focus on creating something very unique for a client with high end taste. Many of my newest designs will launched for sale with just an illustration of the shoe. This is done purposely to book orders in advance since there is currently an average wait time of several months for any custom sneakers ordered on this site. Why such a long wait? Each sneaker takes nearly a whole day of non-stop work to create, sometimes several days or weeks are needed to cure coats of dye or allow adhesives to set. Additionally sometimes as an artist I need to step away from a piece, get inspired or get back in my “zone” and attack a piece with a fresh new attitude and state of mind. I do not “color by number” or treat pieces as standard coloring jobs.

Since there is only 1 Chef, orders have piled up and I have established a pipeline. To expedite and manage orders, I try to group similar shoes to try and get them done in tandem. However, sometimes as an artist if I have a few size runs of a shoe to create, I do like to break them up so I don’t get bored of creating the same piece over and over again. So once again, there is no exact method to how I bring orders to life, I am sure some other sneaker customizers are more systematic so if you prefer a defined system hit them up and stay off this site.

Illustrations are replaced with actual product images as time allows. While I understand that it can be difficult to order based on just an illustration, I offer my track record and previous works as proof that my illustrations are designed to my abilities and nothing shown in my illustrations is misrepresented. To help build confidence I have created a comparison page of mockup illustrations vs. their actual product counterparts. You can see that page by clicking here >> It is best to order custom sneakers while illustration images are up to avoid missing out. Many of my custom sneaker designs are subject to removal from this website at any time without notice.

All of my custom sneakers are built to last, but sometimes I cannot guarantee that they will be scuff proof. Foamposites and hyperfuse based Nike products do not soak up paint, therefore when these items are painted, expect scuff marks to peel paint off. If you are looking for durability on foamposite or hyperfuse based products, pay specific attention to my custom designs that use my trademark “VT-Like fabric application” technique. This application is extremely durable and will resist scuffs and serious abrasions. To see more of my custom sneakers head on over to the gallery page or take a look at what I have cooked up recently on Instagram.

Current wait times for custom kicks: Updated August 2014

There is currently a huge backlog for Custom Foamposites ordered between October 2013 and January 2014. There were nearly 50 pair of custom foamposites ordered from GourmetKickz during this Holiday 2013/2014 rush. Therefore custom Foamposites ordered during this period will likely be delivered well after the estimated 8 month wait period. All efforts are being made to finish these complicated customs on time, but I am quite sure they will pass the 8 month period, as some already have, and slip into the 9 and 10 month wait period. I am unable to refund orders due to the high cost of foamposites and preparation required to re-textile or paint them. If you ordered a custom foamposite during this time, your understanding is appreciated, but please recall my disclaimer that “art is not a science”. While I did my best to estimate wait times during the last holiday season, I was unable to predict the current situation.

If you wish to request a shop credit toward a different custom shoe, or shirts and decreasers please visit this page and fill out the form completely.  I will not be responding to any “status update” emails now that this form exists.

About sneakers for resale

All the sneakers I offer are 100% authentic and sourced from a Nike authorized dealer such as Footlocker, Footaction, Champs, or Nike Factory Stores or smaller local chains. These sneakers are often marked up at a premium since they are usually limited editions, retros or specialty shoes whose inherent value increases after their day of release. These sneakers are often sold out at any of the retailers mentioned above. Consider this premium a convenience fee you pay for securing your pair from a reliable source and without the headaches of having to line up for hours or camp out. All sales of these products are final.

About T-shirts

All the t-shirts I offer on this website have been either designed by me or are a collaborative effort with renown graphic artist “Mas”. You can read more about the collaboration between Mas and GourmetKickz here >> The shirts offered on this website therefore are only available here. They are all made to order and are subject to removal from this website at any time without advance notice.  There are 2 types of shirts available: graphic tees and all over print tees. Please continue reading for specific information about each type.

For all shirts keep in mind that images shown on this website are mockup images created in RGB color mode. Some colors and effects are not able to be printed with these exactly color settings and are therefore converted to CMYK which may differ slightly from what you perceive on your computer screen or device. With that said all efforts are made to use colors that are a “closest match” given the inks, materials and processes available to me. Some effects (glowing, branding, fading, splattering) will cause for some slight color adjustments to be made to the background color or pattern. When this is done, the background may not be an exact color match but will match as it will remain in the same specific color family. This color matching is sacrificed to some degree to achieve more important and striking artistic effects. Patterns and textures are specifically difficult to match so bear in mind that there will be some degree of variance with these types of designs.

About graphic tees

My graphic tees are printed on 100% cotton heavyweight Gildan tees. Some colors are only available up to and including 2XL. Sizes 3XL and 4Xl are only available in specific listings and have limited color options. Please read each listing carefully to be sure the color you want is available in 3XL or 4XL before placing your order. All graphic tees are made to order and take about 10 days to ship. Some shirts are silk screened in a limited run and ship immediately. Since these cases are rare, assume all shirts are made to order and expect a 10 day wait for shipment information. All shirt sales are final. You are expected to know what size shirt you wear. All shirts are standard fit and are true to size. 100% cotton will shrink when dried on high or washed in hot water, order according to your washing habits to avoid size issues.

All over print tees

New to the site is a selection of all over print tees. All over printing is a newer application that uses a dye sublimation on polyester process. The results are amazing all over printed designs which break the boundaries of older and more limiting garment printing techniques. As a newer technology there are variances and margins for error that should be expected. Some shirts offered here are double sided, some are single sided. Aligning a print perfectly front to back is nearly impossibly since the shirt is printed twice to accomplish a 2 sided print, the shirt is flipped over between prints, therefore perfect registration (alignment of the design on the seams) is not possible. When printed, the print is applied directly to the shirt while it lays flat on a platen, some areas of the shirt however do not naturally lie flat and fully exposed to accept the dye. These areas include the creases of the armpit, collar seaming, hems, and the very edges of the shirt. There are creases and folds in these areas that the dye cannot transfer to. Therefore, on the very edges of the shirt, around the collar and at the hems there may be some slight fading of the design or unprinted areas. These unprinted areas will appear white in color, but are usually not very noticeable.  Expect the armpit creases of the shirt to have white streaks, this is normal and accepted as an industry standard for all over printed tees.

All over printed tees are made of polyester and the shirts used are made by either American Apparel or Vapor. Both have a slightly slimmer fit than Gildan cotton tees, please select your size with this in mind. Polyester also does not shrink and all over dye sublimation shirts are usually hand washed in cool water or dry cleaned. All sales of all over print tees are final. All designs are inspected for major flaws before shipping. Designs within tolerance are accepted and shipped to the client. Designs containing major flaws that fall outside of normal tolerance are rejected and reproduced. It should be assumed that anything shipped to the client has been reasonably inspected and falls within tolerance. All over print shirts are made to order and take about 2 weeks to ship.

The DeCreaseR

This is my device designed to prevent and stop creasing in sneakers. It will also effectively reduce the appearance of already set in creases. Please follow the instructions included in The DeCreaseR packaging for best results and the most comfortable fit. The DeCreaseR is best used when placed for long periods of time in 1 pair of sneakers. 5 packs and 20 packs are available to accommodate your collection. Any issues with this product should be emailed. However after 7 years in production, this product remains unchanged and effective on nearly all types of sneakers. All sales of this product are final. This product ships immediately. Occasionally back-orders occur, you will be emailed to advise of any delays should they occur.

Customer service

I make myself available to all clients, current and prospective alike. Feel free to call 775-GRMT-KIX if I am available I will answer, otherwise please leave a message. Please call only when necessary and preferably after emailing your inquiry. Do not call late at night when you smoked a fatty and have a hankering to bother me. Do not mumble on the phone or talk to me like we have been homies for years. You might get hung up on and blocked.

Twitter and social media etiquette

I expect that any issues with orders or product be handled via email or telephone. Any attempt to discredit GourmetKickz via social media will be met with immediate order cancellation, deduction of any costs incurred from designs in progress and base shoe procurement, banning from the website, and possible legal action if Libel can be proven. Additionally if your order was cancelled and converted to “ship now” goods as my policies warn, man up and take responsibility for having broken policy severely enough to bring such action on yourself. I do not cancel or convert orders to be malicious, I do it when you are stressing me.

About Chef, here I will speak in the third person…. this is awkward!

Chef is the artist behind the brand. A cancer survivor driven by his passion for life and creativity. His passion for sneakers gave him an outlet during his long recovery from bone cancer and was refocused toward a need to create. Chef is an artist by nature and true connoisseur of all things limited, collectible, rare, and fashionable. He has an impeccable sense of style and a great intuition for what will be hot and what won’t be. He is a taste-maker and trendsetter. Chef has written for SneakerNews and SoleCollector Magazine and been written about more times than he can recall. Being featured in Cey Adams book “The Definition of Hip-Hop” as well as Sole Collector’s 25th Anniversary AF1 issue are 2 of his most notable mentions. Chef is an award winning sneaker collector and has one of the most prominent collection of Nike AF1’s in the northeast. He is a veritable dictionary for AF1’s and a great resource for all questions to do with the care and maintenance of sneakers, leather, and shoes. Chef is also the inventor of the world’s first crease preventing shoe insert, he is a utility patent holder of the device known worldwide as The DeCreaseR.

Chef has never dealt with fake shoes or B-grades and considers the dealing in shoes that are inauthentic to be a huge disgrace. Therefore Chef will never offer a shoe for sale that he has not authenticated. Some sneakers on this site may be available on pre-order but will not ship until the day of release. This is because Chef does not deal with “early release” sneakers unless they are sourced from the Nike “Seeding” Division or a Nike Sales Rep’s Sample allocation. Sneakers are more often than not sourced from actual Nike accounts.

Chef has also worked for Ralph Lauren Factory Store Concepts and Ralph Lauren Full Retail, he therefore understands the importance of “best in class customer service”. Chef has taken this idea of top notch customer service with him after leaving Ralph Lauren and extended this ethos to his own business model. When shopping on AF1King you can count on receiving the best customer service you will ever receive on any sneaker website. For any questions or concerns you may speak to Chef directly by calling 775-GRMT-KIX or emailing chef@gourmetkickz.com