HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — In a sea of black hats and robes, Hasbrouck Heights' Christian Alexander stood out in baby blue.
The then-18-year-old had painted a starry design on his sneakers and graduation cap with an obvious implication: the sky is the limit.
Since his 2015 high school graduation, Alexander has been recruited by professional athletes and rappers to paint their own custom sneakers, and recently launched his own artistic clothing line.
"It was so surreal to have guys who I idolized reaching out to me," he said.
They appreciated what I do.
Alexander's family moved 16 times before settling in Hasbrouck Heights, and he took to painting murals on walls as a way to "mark his territory."
"I never had a stable place where I thought I could create my art growing up," he said. "I feared I would move again and lose it."
Then, he found a way to take his murals wherever he went, by painting them right on his shoes.
Alexander disappeared into his garage for hours every day — just him, a pair of sneakers and an airbrush kit.
He was first recognized at "Sneaker Con 2014" in New York City, when he wore a pair of Jackson Pollock-inspired Jordans.
After a while, rappers and professional athletes began wearing his work to large events.
Alexander's latest endeavor has been making "wearable street art" for his brand, "Christian Alexander."
He hopes to open his own store in 5 years, and he says he won't be selling just clothing.
"I'm going to have the IKEA of art," Alexander said. "I'm going to put my murals on everything from t-shirts to couches."
I want everything in the world to have Christian Alexander on it.
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