While Berkeley native Aaron Firestein, 28, claims that his college nickname, “Bucket,” was initially devoid of meaning (“My buddies just thought it would be funny to call me that,” he says), it was an unwittingly meaningful glimpse into his future. After a two-year post-grad stint in South America, Firestein moved to Chicago, where he began creating pumped-up kicks emblazoned with works commissioned from artists all over the world. “You get to take the art everywhere,” says Firestein, who launched his footwear company, Bucketfeet, in 2011. “The shoes embody movement and travel.” Bucketfeet’s spring collection, which includes a tribal motif (center) by San Jose tattoo artist Orly Locquiao—personal ink pusher to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick—will drop into Bay Area Nordstrom stores this month. “In Polynesian culture, this design represents protection,” explains Firestein. “These shoes protect the ground you walk on.”
Calling all bay area creatives Submit your original art, photography, designs, and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in 7x7's April issue. Click here to subscribe.