716 Style: Meet Emeka Wajed, custom sneaker designer

By Susan Martin – For The Buffalo News
Published March 4, 2020|Updated March 5, 2020

Artist Emeka Wajed, a student at the Park School of Buffalo, stands in front of the art building on campus. On the exterior wall behind him is a colorful, unfinished mural he is painting. Its title is “The Lady in Paint.” He also paints sneakers and basketball shoes. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Name: Emeka Wajed, 15.

Who he is: An artist who paints sneakers and basketball shoes as part of his art practice, using old pairs donated by family and friends. He also takes commissions for custom sneakers. He is a sophomore at the Park School of Buffalo in Snyder, where he is on the soccer, basketball and track teams. He enjoys hip hop and rap music and writing poetry. He is the son of artist Edreys and chef/artist Alexa Wajed (edreys.comeatoffart.com) and has an older brother, Eman, a college freshman and Park School graduate. The family lives in Cheektowaga. Last year he was one of the recipients of the Future of Black History award from the Buffalo Urban League. You can check out all of Emeka’s work on Instagram.

What he’s wearing: True Religion jeans; the Cupcake & Crossbones tee by Johnny Cupcakes; Great Outdoors flannel shirt; Nike Air Jordan 1 Crimson Tint shoes.

Signature piece: His Dr. Dre Beats Solo3 wireless yellow headphones.

Listen to Emeka Wajed describe his style (and get a closer look at the mural he is creating on the Park School campus):

Fashion statement: “My style is expressive. I wake up in the morning every day and I decide what I’m going to get dressed in – in my head. And then it comes out as my clothes. So if someone sees me walking in school, outside of school, they know it’s me – just because of the clothes I have on or just the way I move.”

Last thing he bought: PUMA Clyde Hardwood basketball shoes – for basketball season.

In the market for: More PUMA shoes.

Emeka, wearing his signature headphones, stands in front of Park School’s Knopp-Hailpern Science Center with a collection of his hand-painted sneakers. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Emeka Wajed is a stylish and artistic teen Park School student who paints and customizes sneakers in his free time at Park School, 4625 Harlem Road , in Amherst , on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

His Nike Air Jordan 1 Crimson Tint shoes, along with some of his hand-painted sneakers. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Emeka with some of his designs, photographed in an art classroom at Park School. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Susan Martin– Susan Martin is Home & Style editor at The Buffalo News. She is a native of Western New York and graduated from St. Lawrence University and Syracuse University.

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