With the boom of authentic designers, high street brands and fast fashion labels, there is a resounding resolution to #buyAfrican and #wearNigerian. The streets, red carpets, and blog pages are filled with fashionistas each routing for one designer or brand, and we’re gradually adopting the culture of shopping within our borders. But with clothing at the center of our minds, it’s easy to miss just how awesome a good pair of shoes can be, especially one made right here in Africa.
Let’s walk you our selection of footwear brands that need to be on your wishlist.
Ten & Co
Tourism brought her to Morocco, and a spontaneous DIY moment led to the making of her first oxfords from scraps of rug. Basically, Tory Noll started Ten & Co by chance. Now, she has built a globally appealing brand by making shoes that are as intricately detailed as they are comfortable to wear. Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever need a fun alternative to leather, you know where to go.
We’ve watched the Ankara trend explode, and Adire is fast on its way to becoming the next big thing. Batik however, is far from being popular demand. But since Tina Tangalakis, the woman at the helm of Della began her shoe line using batik as the core element, the story has started to change. After more than two collaborations with eponymous brands such as Vans, no one needs to say it out loud; these shoes are a must have!
Mo Saique’s first memorable appearance was at the 2013 Lagos Fashion and Design Week. Tassel detailed, pencil heels, made by a woman from Ghana? You bet it made headlines – and wishlists. For that moment, people weren’t thinking Jimmy Choo or Sophia Webster, they all just wanted a pair of it. So if high-end is your thing, I advise you go Mo.
House of Cinnamon
Ballet flats? Yes please! What’s our shoe rack without them anyway. Not to mention these are handcrafted in South Africa with a vision to create shoes that are internationally on trend, locally made and classically tailored.
This is one of those brands that need no introduction. Amazing, well designed, and perfect for making a statement, it’s one shoe line whose accolades come from far and wide. If Aurora James doesn’t ring a bell then you, my friend, need to hop over to Google right now. The eponymous Vogue has featured a range of her shoes over six times, and even Elle acknowledges that she has turned traditionally made footwear into high fashion.
These are just a few of my favorites, but the hunt for more great footwear brands from Africa continues. Suggest some too, so we can grow this list together.
Like they say, if life gives you lemons, sell them and buy shoes!
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