The Oridgenators presented by Ruffles is a six-part IGTV series that spotlights pioneering Black creators from the intersecting worlds of basketball, sneakers, social media, music, and entrepreneurship. Each episode profiles one unique individual who defied societal norms in pursuit of their dreams to inspire and uplift.

In a weird way, Sierato can thank his parents for helping him to get where he is today. As one of the most premier sneaker customizers, his fusion of kicks and art was birthed because of what his mom and dad didn’t do for him.

“I got into customizing basically because when I was in high school the parents didn’t always want to buy everything I wanted,” Sierato says. “Pretty much, none of what I wanted. I usually got one new pair of shoes at the beginning of the year and maybe another one halfway through, so I had to make these things last.”

The need to preserve his kicks while also staying fresh took on new meaning when he customized the Drip Air Max 90s in Tiffany Blue. Sierato, real name Cory Bailey, quickly saw replicas of his work, which meant he was onto something, but it also meant he’d have to learn how to protect his products.

“I didn’t know to watermark things,” he says of his early successes. “It was a big learning curve to figure out how this game really works out.”

During his Oridgenators shoot, the Baltimore native speaks honestly about the time before he became a well-known artist and designer, and how despite having affluent parents, he still had to make his dreams come true on his own.

“I have a support system [that] I can utilize different aspects of what they do, but I also don’t have any handouts either so I have to prove to them that this is going to work,” he says.

It took a lot of time, energy, and persistence for Sierato to earn the respect and following he has today, but the one rule of thumb that aids in his success is simple. “I’m always trying to find something new to do and elevate the work that I’m doing,” he says. “Every piece that I do, I only do it if I would wear it myself.”