Japan’s No.1
Sneaker Marketplace

26th August 2022 EDT FEATURES

[Interview] Sneakers, But Make it Art: Felt Kenn Makes Sneakers Out of Felt

The American artist takes us behind the scenes for an exclusive look at the making of his intricate felt sneaker art.


By Louis Teo
Photos courtesy of Felt Kenn

When we first chanced upon Felt Kenn’s intricate sneaker art on Instagram, we knew immediately that we had to, ahem, slide into their DMs and find out more about their art and practice.

Felt Kenn’s Instagram feed is populated with instantly-recognizable sneakers. However, regular sneakers these are not—all of them were created with felt by painstakingly piecing multiple layers together.

Turns out, Felt Kenn is an artist based in the United States, who also happens to be a sneaker enthusiast. By observing the silhouettes and lines of sneakers and experimenting with a range of felt, he has recreated miniature felt versions of these popular kicks. It’s a time-consuming but deeply satisfying process, a commissioned adidas Falcon piece once took him around 15 hours to complete.

Over email, the affable young artist shares with us his love for sneakers and how this passion project of his has now grown into a full-fledged art practice, earning him custom requests and a spot in the local art gallery!

Sneaker Art Felt Kenn Nike New BalanceQ. Hello Felt Kenn! Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

My name is Kenneth Kuzman. I’m 28 years old, and I live on the east coast of the United States. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen. I love getting dressed while sipping a cup of coffee, and I love to create.

Q. When we came across your felt art on Instagram, we were shook by how you meld sneakers and felt art together. When did you start making felt art?

I started making felt art in 2021. It started as a passion project and has continued to be that very thing for me.

I have always held a well-designed sneaker in the highest regard—holding a sneaker in hand, examining the lines, the textures, the colors, the extraordinary detail. It’s a serious matter but I was looking for a somewhat lighthearted take on that.

Sneaker Art Felt Kenn Nike New BalanceQ. The felt sneakers on your Instagram look miniature and cute.

They are relatively small, the smallest being 4 by 2 inches and the largest I’ve made is 8 by 4 inches.

Q. How long does it take you to make a piece of felt sneaker?

It depends on the sneaker and its size. Some have spanned across a few weeks, but the average piece takes me eight to 10 hours.

Q. Are there certain details that are harder to nail down?

Trying to fit all the wonderful details of a real sneaker in can be quite the task. Laces play a big part in a sneaker’s overall look, so I’m working hard to perfect those. It’s a constant process of experimenting and improving.

I chose to go with a Nike Dunk High for my first felt sneaker. I figured it best to start with a pattern that didn’t have too many individual parts. From there, I knew I could move onto more complicated sneakers.

Sneaker Art Felt Kenn Nike New Balance
Q. How many pieces of felt sneaker art have you created to date?

I’ve been working hard on my felt pieces, although I still haven’t hit the 50-piece mark. As I continue to fine tune the process and elevate the quality of my pieces, I have done away with some of my earlier creations and don’t quite consider them on the same level as the sneakers I have created most recently, which I consider a positive thing. Still excited for the 50th!

Q. Any favorite piece you have created so far?

My favorite piece so far is this yellow NB 992. I’ve always loved the shape of this classic sneaker model, and it was made for someone near and dear to my heart. I spent a fair amount of time on that piece and am extremely satisfied with the way it turned out! Countless cups of coffee and numerous dance breaks around my apartment allowed me to create that piece! (the coffee and dancing are pivotal in creating most of my pieces)!

Sneaker Art Felt Kenn Nike New BalanceQ. Are there any plans to grow @feltkenn?

I don’t have any elaborate plans to expand @feltkenn although I welcome new growth. In terms of selling my pieces, it’s an honor. It’s very validating to have someone reach out to me and ask which sneakers are available, or to post a sneaker and then immediately have someone message me saying, “I have to have it!”

I have also been fortunate enough to have several of my pieces displayed at a lovely art gallery in York Beach, Maine.

Q. Last but not least—as a sneaker lover, what is your ultimate favourite sneaker?

That’s a tough question! I’m able to immediately narrow it down to one brand—New Balance. I grew up within miles of Boston, the birthplace of New Balance. This meant frequent trips to the factory store with family, particularly my Grandpa who loved their canvas sneakers.

I love the incredible quality and attention to detail, along with the simplicity. These characteristics all still play a large part in my affinity for New Balance sneakers. My top two pairs for the summer? New Balance CT302 “White Reflection” and the 990V4 Susan G. Komen “Faded Rose”.

LineMore SNKRDUNK Interviews:

From Japan to the World: Kohei Hamada

Virtually Real: Hartcopy’s Tim Suen on NFTs & Digitized Sneaker Culture

How to Start Your Own Creative Studio in Singapore: Tell Your Children