The granddaddy of sneaker customisation goes by Mr Sabotage – SBTG for short – or simply Mark Ong (@mr_sabotage). He’s behind some of the most memorable sneaker collaborations with brands like Nike, Reebok, Vans, Puma and has become an internationally respected figure within streetwear and skate culture circles.
Skate culture is everything to me. It shaped me in a major way and I subscribe to its state of mind almost like religion.
I don't feel pressure as I have 14 years of experience doing what I love, which is sneaker customisation. But in the beginning, I had no plan for it as a career. It was just what I wanted and loved to do – I gave it my all and I guess it paid off.
I believe I'm meant to do this and am aware that what I'm doing is writing history in a way, so I ain’t messing around.
Before I was Mr Sabotage, I already enjoyed selling cool stuff. I was good at it and became even better when I could create what I was selling.
Art shouldn't take away happiness from people. To be honest, I'm not aware how the government views art. There is some support but it should be expressed independently.
I'm not here to reinvent the wheel. I really enjoy classic sneakers that have matured and stood for generations of culture and I'm here to contribute to it.
The commodification of skaters and counter-culture kids today is inevitable.
Get to know our pick of ten rule-breaking creatives in the March 2017 issue of L'Officiel Singapore.