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Kentucky artist creates custom kicks for Pope Francis

Posted at 7:52 AM, Oct 14, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Billy Hobbs has a pretty impressive client list. Through his business,True Blue Customs, he's made custom kicks for celebrities from Snoop Dogg to Paul McCartney. Now, he is adding Pope Francis to the list.

"The Pope is kind of like the top level," Hobbs said. "You can't really go any higher than that."

Papal Missionary of Mercy Father Jim Sichko came up with the gift idea for his trip to the Vatican. He asked Hobbs to paint some Nike Blazers yellow and white to represent the papal flag. He also requested the Pope's coat of arms be included in the design.

"He just was like wow and he was pointing at them," Sichko said when asked how the Pope responded to the shoes. " And I took them out of the box because on the backside it says Pope Francis on them and he was just very, very pleased with them."

Pope Francis

"You see his face, he's like wow!" Hobbs said about the picture he saw of the Pope receiving the shoes. "It's humbling. It's awesome because, like man, he really dug my work. He actually liked it."

The positive reaction is not just a win for Hobbs but also for Kentucky.

"Just to be able to shine a little bit of a spotlight on Kentucky like something small that I do in this little studio in my basement," Hobbs said. "It's humbling. It really is. It's really humbling."

This article was written by Kristen Edwards for WLEX.