Unique Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN trainers to be auctioned for Save The Children

A one-off pair of customized Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN-issue Puma trainers will be auctioned in November to raise funds for Save The Children.

The special shoes have been hand-painted with pictures of the team’s current Formula One car and design details from the racing helmets of drivers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.

Commissioned by turbocharging business Accelleron, a partner of Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, the shoes were presented to the drivers at a company-wide event in October that celebrated the firm’s independence, stock exchange listing and F1 links. 

Signed by both drivers, and donated to support the team’s long-standing relationship with Save the Children, the shoes will be sold to the highest bidder via an online auction hosted by F1 Authentics.

The auction will begin on 20 November, which is World Children's Day, and end on 6 December 2022. 

The shoes were created by Jetmir Dzelili, an Accelleron employee and artist, who began customizing trainers during the 2020 lockdown. 

It took him 37 hours to expertly transform the size 41, team-issue, Puma Basket Classic XXI trainers into a unique piece of F1 memorabilia.

“I’ve been drawing for many years, but since 2016 it has become a more serious hobby,”

explained Jetmir, who paints under the name Jedy (@jedy_customsneakers).

“I enjoy working with letter forms and graffiti, and during lockdown my wife asked me to paint her name on her shoes in a graffiti style. That was my first piece of trainer art and when pictures were shared on social media the feedback was incredible.”

Further graffiti-style trainer commissions followed, before Accelleron’s partnership with Sauber Technologies, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, presented an opportunity to experiment with another style.

“I painted a pair of trainers for a colleague’s son and word spread. I was asked if I’d like to help mark our F1 partnership and of course I was happy to get involved,” Jetmir said.

While the subject matter was new, he followed the same fastidious process to bring the artwork to life. The leather was sanded and treated to help the paint stick, before primer and first layer of colour was applied with an airbrush.

“The airbrush is better for coverage and leaves a smoother finish,” Jetmir explained. “I use an acrylic paint specially made for leather. It’s flexible and durable so even if the shoes are worn the design will stick.”

Jetmir presented the trainers to Zhou and Valtteri in front of 750 colleagues at Accelleron’s home town of Baden, Switzerland. Hundreds more Accelleron employees from around the globe watched via a live video stream. 

“It was a very special moment to be onstage and hand over the shoes,” he said. “The drivers knew we had made a pair to support Save the Children, and their reaction when I opened the box was amazing. Valtteri said he needed a pair for himself, and this was the best answer I could get because then I could then bring out the extra pairs I had made for him and Zhou.
It was a complete surprise - and they were like, wow! I still get goosebumps thinking about their reaction and the happiness on their faces. That's the best compliment you can get, of course.”

Oliver Riemenschneider, Accelleron board of directors Chairperson, said:

“2022 has been a momentous year for Accelleron and our partnership with Sauber Technologies and the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN.

“This is a collaboration that is focused on the exchange of intelligence, experience and insight between our operations, and we are already seeing the benefits of the transfer of progress and high-performance innovation.

“These shoes were a creative way to recognise the bonds between our organizations - and to lend our support to Sauber’s commitment to Save the Children. They are a fabulous piece of F1 memorabilia and I hope they can raise a lot of money for good causes.”

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