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Interview with Jacopo De Carli

A brief chat with the Italian 2.0 shoemaker

Interview with Jacopo De Carli A brief chat with the Italian 2.0 shoemaker

We had the chance to sit down and talk to Jacopo De Carli, not only a 2.0 shoemaker, but also the creator of DCJ, a product to keep your sneakers always clean and fresh, that has been having a great success among Italian sneakerheads. After having chatted about this new job and the current customization trend, Jacopo revealed to us the grails he worked on, who is part of his team and what are his plans for the future. Read the interview here and don't forget to take part in the giveaway of the Nike Air Max 97 x Off-White customized exclusively for nss magazine by DCJ. 


#1 How was DCJ born and what does it mean for you to be a 2.0 shoemaker, as you often call yourself? 

The DCJ project was born about three years ago, almost casually, as I was starting my shoemaker carrer and I was taking a class to learn the secrets of this job. 

Once I had learnt the basic techniques, I found a lab in Milan where I worked as an intern, and where I could turn my passion for shoes into my work. I started to clean and renovate sneakers just for my friends, who were positively surprised by the result, and started suggesting me to dedicate myself completely to this skill and develop it. 

After having been added to a number of sneakerheads groups, I checked for months what was missing in these communities, and I realized that there were no pro renovators. In the following months I started working from home, I would restore sneakers and focus on the development of my product, “DCJ Sneakers Cleaner”. I gave some of these spray cans to my friends as a gift during various events: it was a huge success! Everyone was blown away by the result. 

In December 2017 I decided to leave my job at the lab to fully concentrate on my "2.0 shoemaker" project, specialized in the renovation of sneakers. The term "2.0 shoemaker" was given me by friends and fellow shoemakers: I managed to learn old tricks and techniques and make them work for the sneakers too, achieving a great deal. 


#2 You created two exclusive products for the maintenance of the sneakers - DCJ Sneakers Cleaner and DCJ Sneakers Protector - what was the creation of a product from scratch like? Are you planning to expand the series with new products? 

The DCJ products were created for the need of making things quicker: in the old lab I would clean, polish and renovate dozens of sneakers everyday and I always had a short amount of time. 

I started to become well-known among new techniques classes, and I was approached by a master shoemaker who had been following my technical and creative development and together we decided to create new products, including the DCJ Sneakers Cleaner, reaching surprising results for the both of us. Shortly after we designed also the Protector for a complete cleaning and protection kit. In the next few months we will release an entire line of products for the cleaning and the maintenance of the sneakers, there's nothing like this on the market today. 

#3 On which important grails have you worked on, and which one is a dream of yours? 

I reckon myself very lucky, in just a few months I had the chance to touch and repair almost all the world's most important pieces: many Air Yeezy 1 and 2, samples of Converse Off-White, Air Max 1 Patta and Parra x Patta, Jordan 1 1985 OG. In the future I hope to keep making my clients happy, I would definitely love to work on some samples or some Nike unique pieces, or some Jordan worn by Micheal during his career. 


#4 Besides the sneaker cleaning and sole wasp, you ventured also in the custom world. Do you think it is a temporary trend, that follows the hype wave, or that it will create a lasting market? 

At the beginning I would work on the DCJ project along with my assistant Rebecca. Then, last March, I had the pleasure to meet Gregorio (Vgoghi) to examine a few renovations, and I found out that he was able to create innovative customs and accessories using 3D printers and laser cuts. We discussed the different types of custom and manufacturing, and I could see with my own eyes Gregorio's abilities and creativity, so I asked him to be part of the DCJ project. Thanks to this new relation, we created a series of customs "tie dye", reworking in our own way the current trend. 

For the future we are planning a new series of innovative customs, that for us are next level. 


#5 On the social media you're receveing a very positive feedback among the Milanese sneakerhead community. How important is the community and the connection with it for you? 

The relations I had with the Italian communities helped me to create my DCJ project, I definitely would have never ventured in this journey without their support. We spend a lot of time answering to different requests and questions, in order to create a relationship based on trust and friendship. It's thanks to their support if DCJ is so well-known and appreciated. 

#6 Your latest customs went viral on Instagram and were even reposted on the Off-White official page. Were you expecting all this attention? What are the next customs you're working on? 

Gregorio and I spent a lot of time working on this new costums, on the research and the development of new materials, never used before. We are very happy with our results, ending up on the most important and trending Instagram pages made us want to do even better in the future. In the next few months Gregorio will have the possibility to show his abilities, thanks to new tech machines, developing new concept sneakers with innovative materials and ideas, truly never seen before. 


#7 Where do you see DCJ in the next five years? 

In the next years I wish DCJ could turn into a successful project in Italy as well as in Europe, with a team made of well prepared people always ready to impress our customers. Besides the cleaning products, the customs and the reparations, we would like to offer new services too. I was trained in the classic shoes world so my dream is to create custom-made sneakers with esteemed materials. 

Right now our main goal is to work well and make our clients happy, we'll think of everything else along the way.