In the vivid memories of Phil Lipschutz's life, the resounding mantra, "Don't Wait to Celebrate, Give the Women of our lives flowers today and watch them bloom," has been a reoccurring theme. This captivating ethos comes from a story that unfolds like the pages of a novel, going back to the very depths of Phil's childhood. In those formative childhood years, Phils life was a rocky one. Navigating the windy roads of life alongside his single mother whose bright spirit was often overshadowed by the demons of drug addiction and poverty. Phil’s mother was fighting a relentless fight against her demons, leaving her children Phil and Erika to navigate their childhood with lack of provision and care. Simply put, Their house was a stark reminder of hardship and struggle, a place plagued by the darkness of drugs and the specter of poverty. It was a big house infested with despair, a place where chaos reigned supreme. Phil would often sleep on a beat down brown couch here as he didn’t have a room of his own. This home is where the crucible in which Phil’s character was forged.
At the age of 15, Phil discovered a refuge from the storm of his home life. He'd grab his skateboard and make the journey across town to Grandma's house. Grandma's house wasn't grand, but it was always spotlessly clean, radiating love and care. Grandmal extended an open invitation to Phil and his raggedy crew of skateboarding friends in need. With warmth and an ever-welcoming smile, she generously offered them nourishment—just one meal a day, to be precise. However, the unspoken agreement was that after partaking in that meal, all of them would find themselves gathered around on the beloved floral couch.
The conversations that transpired on this sacred floral couch were not mere chit-chat. They were thought-provoking and held the power to infuse deeper significance into the lives of Phil and his companions. Each gathering on the floral couch was a face to face encounter with priceless wisdom passed down from Phils grandparent’s . Through these conversations, layers of profound meaning and knowledge were added to their young unfolding lives.
Phil drew inspiration from these formatives years to detail this iteration of the Rivalry low. Purple, a color Phil would forever associate with his grandma’s strength and grace. Is a color he remembers his grandma wearing to family gatherings and church. The floral patterns which are similar to the ones on the couch are a mosaic of geraniums, tulips, orchards, yellow and pink roses which happen to be several of his grandma’s favorite flowers. In Grandma's handwriting, the Adidas logo embroidered onto the tongue, also a gentle reminder to "Always be a good boy." Is embroidered into the heels. This was a slogan she etched on letters and cards, and it was a philosophy Phil carried with him through life. It became his guiding light. The insoles of Phil's shoes featured a watercolor painting, painted by and gifted from Grandpa to Grandma on Mother's Day. It depicted a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and it echoed a message that resonated in Phil's heart, "Don't wait to celebrate; give the women of our lives flowers today and watch them bloom."
Phil deliberately used a vibrant color palette for these Adidas, a choice deeply rooted in his personal journey. During his formative years, he found himself unable to obtain the expressive and stylish footwear that he longed for. Instead, he was confined to receiving worn-out hand-me-downs, the furthest thing from the uniqueness and vibrancy he craved. The array of bright colors on these shoes stands as a testament to the vivid energy he missed during those early, challenging days. They symbolize his unwavering determination to transcend the shadows of his past and paint a brighter, more colorful future for himself.
Since his mother’s untimely passing, many women in his Phil’s life have stepped up to be a mothering figure to Phil. These shoes became a tribute to his grandmother and her beloved couch, but are also a way for Phil to express his gratitude and offer metaphorical flowers to those women who have supported him during trying times. Grandma's floral couch and the colorful shoes on his feet were his reminders of where he came from, where he was going, and the people who had helped shape his journey along the way.