MANSFIELD, Texas — To make sure this story doesn’t get off on the wrong foot, Andre Sims would like to show you his shoes.
The shoes are a custom pair of Vans he spent hours painting and designing to create a tribute to the Dallas Cowboys. It’s covered in images of players and coaches with a nod to Dallas’ five Super Bowl championships.
Sims has made hundreds of similar shoes featuring teams from all over the country.
He sells them all, but these Cowboys kicks have been a particularly hot commodity.
“Everywhere I go, every time I post a Cowboys shoe they just be shocked,” Sims said.
They’re shocked not by the art, but by the artist.
“I’m an Eagles fan,” Sims said. “Please don’t hold it against me. I’ll take care of anybody.”
Although he’ll create art for anyone, designing shoes was never part of his plan.
Sims works full time delivering freight. He only started painting shoes four years ago after his brother was shot and killed.
“We were just real close,” Sims said. “Real close.”
He was angry and grieving, but was keeping it all bottled up inside and needed a way to move forward.
“That was the only way I could think of to open up the doors of letting everything out,” he said.
His brother was an artist, so art was Sims form of therapy.
He started by making signs featuring sports teams before changing his canvas to shoes.
He often stays up until 3 a.m. working on his custom shoes.
He calls his work A-N-D Art Designing, meaning Andre and Daray, his brother.
“My brother’s legacy will continue to live on,” Sims said. “He lives through me, so I’m going to make sure I honor him correctly.”
For him, stepping into these shoes has been a good first step.
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