Houston shoe designer grabs attention of Lady Gaga, photographers and designers worldwide

HOUSTON

Omar Perez grew up around the handy work of his parents.

"My mother was an artist," he said.

For 10 years, he worked in video design and animation, but his passion for sculpture kept him busy at his home-workshop.

"I would start out small, with frames and shelving units," Perez said.

Then Perez started designing shoe sculptures.

"They pretty much started out as a joke, really," he said.

That joke turned into a lucrative business. He made the shoes wearable for models, accenting them with wild materials. Each pair sells for between $2,500 and $6,000.

Each shoe sculpture is between 14 and– 24 inches and take up to three weeks to make.

Remember the platforms Lady Gaga wore to promote her "Artpop" album? Those were custom-made by Perez right here in Houston.

"There she is, wearing my works," Perez said. "It was really, really exciting."

The pop music icon has worn four pairs of Perez's shoe sculptures. And before long, he was fielding calls from photographers, stylists and designers worldwide. Now a thriving artist, he's been featured in international magazines, including Vogue Italia.

"And that image is being circulated worldwide so again, it's a great honor," Perez said.

Perez has custom-made more than 60 different individual shoe sculptures and about 20 wearable pairs. Perez says he wants to tackle movie next. He'd like his shoes to be used as wardrobe on the big screen.

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