FIT student Yarden Sopher-Harelick, Fashion Design ’21, was approached by Bilal Powell of the New York Jets football team after seeing a pair of shoes she painted for a friend. Powell asked Sopher-Harelick to make a pair for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign, where players show off their causes with custom cleats.
“The design process was stressful because I had never painted on cleats before,” Sopher-Harelick says. “There is a lot more to think about than just design because they will be worn and busted up. But I was so excited and brainstormed ideas for at least a month before I started working on them.” Since she wanted the cleats to be perfect, Sopher-Harelick used the design program Photoshop first to make sure she liked the way they looked before she began painting.
“This was definitely a huge learning experience for me in terms of knowing what paint to use and what order to paint the designs in,” she says. “I think FIT has helped me in that aspect, because as a Fashion Design major, when it comes to sewing, a lot of the process is understanding what order things need to be sewn in order for the final product to look clean. Painting is similar because you deal with multiple dimensions and need to decide what should be painted first. I also think FIT has helped me when it comes to brainstorming ideas and finding inspiration in everything, which is the most important part of any creative process.”