Photographed by Megan Sontog
Hi, my name is Amanda. I'm about to tell you a story about a machine. His name is DESMA and he makes Chrome's Forged Rubber Sneakers. DESMA is an old pro at making shoes. Seventy years ago, he was cranking out army boots during WWII but after the war, he just sat with 85 of his fellow machines rusting away in a basement in Slovakia.
One fine day, he got the call that Chrome Industries wanted him and his pals to build Forged Rubber Sneakers by forging rubber soles directly onto durable canvas uppers, one at a time, by hand, the same way they made army boots 70 years ago. While his pals went to work in Thailand, DESMA oiled his pivots, slapped on some paint, and hopped the first flight to San Francisco, where he and our Chrome Crew geared up to take this one-machine Forged Rubber Factory on tour.