Devlin Braswell got the call when the NFL playoffs started. It was from someone in Cam Newton's camp. They had seen his shoe customization work on Instagram and wanted him to make something for the Carolina Panthers quarterback should they make the Super Bowl.
The result was on display for the world to see when Newton showed up to Media Night on Monday in Braswell's creation: Under Armour Curry Twos with Panthers logos and a tongue that zips down to show the Superman logo.
"They didn't give me any direction, but I did a little research," Braswell said. "I know he's an Under Armour guy and know that he and Steph mutually respect each other. And I had to do something with Superman."
After ordering the materials, which Braswell said cost $300, the shoe took about eight hours to make from start to finish. He delivered them to the team hotel at 3 a.m. on Monday.
Braswell has been customizing shoes since he was a freshman in college in 1997. As one of the first guys in the business, he rose to fame in the community and made shoes for the likes of Jadakiss and Lil' Kim.
When the business went through a dry spell, Braswell went into the U.S. Coast Guard and served for 11 years before the death of one of his children inspired him to go back and pursue his dream.
He's now finishing up a degree at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise in San Francisco, and will soon pursue an additional business degree in hopes of landing a job at a shoe brand.
Thanks to social media, shoe customization has turned into a real business. Braswell said that between customizing shoes, teaching shoe customization classes, selling materials to make shoes with and developing a proprietary product called SoleDye, which allows artists to better dye rubber, he easily cleared six figures last year.
Braswell's most expensive custom was a Air Jordan shoe commissioned by a guy who wanted the shoe redone in exotic materials like alligator, python and ostrich and dyed in blue. Braswell charged $3,000 for the pair.
As word circulated that he was the man behind the Cam Newton Super Bowl shoes, some offers have started to trickle in, including one, he says, from the University of Cincinnati. They wanted him to customize the Curry Twos for their basketball team.