Jory Oakleaf got the athlete’s attention while working a freelance photography gig at a P League basketball game in Cleveland.
“Myles Garrett’s brother happened to be there so I started talking to him and he liked my work, so he gave me a trial run and I made each of them a pair of shoes and they loved it and that’s how I ended up here,” Oakleaf said.
19-year-old Oakleaf has been working inside his home art studio in Beach City, Ohio to create the air-brushed design for Garrett’s custom cleats. Those are expected to be worn during a Browns’ preseason game in the upcoming weeks.
Jory’s artistic talents are a family affair.
“It came from my mom’s side. She actually runs her own business and she designs most of the labels and everything there,” he said.
FOX 8 first introduced you to Oakleaf two years ago when his company, J’s Custom Kicks, was just getting off the ground. They were formerly refurbishing old shoes.
Now, the 2020 Fairless High School graduate is skipping college to focus on his brand.
Garrett won’t be the first to wear Jory’s custom shoes. His work was nationally displayed on Thanksgiving in 2019 when Dee Virgin, cornerback for the Detroit Lions, wore his customized camouflage cleats on live television.
“It’s kind of becoming more and more consistent,” Oakleaf said.
As for the design for Garrett’s cleats, he says the football star wanted him to stick with a theme connected to his nickname, “Flash.”
“Eventually, I will become an official company and hopefully make this my career,” Oakleaf said.
He hopes to drop off Garret’s custom cleats in person by the end of the week.