Top 10 African Shoe Designers

Shoes are significant ways to express our styles and fashion interest. With a population of over one billion people, footwear is one of the fast and most emerging business opportunities in Africa.

African countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria (just to mention a few) are leading the footwear revolution on the continent. In 2013, Ethiopia earned over $30 million from shoe exports, which ranks it ninth in the global leather goods industry.

Here are Fashtracker's Top African Shoe designers

  1. ENZI: The idea for ENZI came about when Jawad visited Azariah in Ethiopia, where they discovered a plentiful supply of quality leather and the burgeoning footwear industry. The company works with production partners in Ethiopia and Kenya to create elegant and casual shoes from high-quality materials and designs. ENZI describes itself as a company that “wants to break the pessimistic view of Africa and produce shoes of the best quality in Africa for the world market. In line with its mission, ENZI creates sustainable jobs in local communities in Kenya and Ethiopia and contributes significantly to the growth of the African continent while producing quality shoes for fashionable men around the world.
  2. TT Dalk: TT Dalk is a Nigeria-based fashion brand that is redefining the African footwear industry. Temalade Osinfade is the Founder and Creative Director of T.T Dalk. T Dalk is revolutionizing the local shoe business in Nigeria and has appeared on several international catwalks and fashion shows. In a recent press interview, he gave the following advice: “…you have to have a passion for business, it takes a lot of consistency and perseverance. Define your brand and target market. T Dalk is definitely an up and coming brand to keep an eye on in Africa's rapidly evolving footwear landscape.
  3. Haus of Hecelus: is a footwear and accessories brand based in Lagos, Nigeria? It specializes in simple yet elegant and exquisite handmade shoes. The HOH collection includes loafers, oxfords, brogues, toms and moccasins in luxurious fabrics such as velvet and soft suede as well as heritage fabrics. such as denim, tweed and tie-dye fabrics. The mind behind Haus of Hercules is Christopher Jeje, a young Nigerian designer and entrepreneur. He started this impressive shoe business in 2010 with just over $30. in startup capital. Since then, HOH has appeared in fashion shows in Lagos, Accra and London.
  4. Tawias Deigns: The Ghanaian-American shoe brand is Chicago-based, and prides itself in providing comfortable handmade footwear ranging from sandals, boots, lace-ups and custom sneakers.TawiaDesigns' variety of shoes represent Africa's rich and diverse culture while creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within the continent.
  5. Sawa: Algerian-born shoe designer Mehdi Slimani launched SAWA as an activist fashion project to produce 'Made in Africa' footwear from start to finish. You may even have caught SAWA's special collection just for J.Crew sold out back in 2014. The company finally settled and developed its business model in Ethiopia after initially setting up shop in Cameroon. For Slimani, SAWA shoes are for socially-conscious buyers, and seek to benefit the continent while challenging the narrative that it needs "saving."
  6.  Sole Rebels: Sole rebels is without a doubt one of Africa's most notable and fastest-growing footwear brands. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu founded SoleRebels Company in 2004 in Ethiopia with less than $10,000 in capital raised from family members. Since the beginning, sole rebels have employed and trained unemployed Ethiopian youths by allowing them to start their own businesses. The company has also modified traditional Ethiopian "selate" and "barabasso" shoes, which are also known as recycled car tire sole shoes. She developed her business idea after noticing that the majority of the artisans in her community who made beautiful footwear remained impoverished. She decided to change the business by combining recycled, organic, and bio-based materials.
  7. Hesey: Hesey is a Nigerian brand that primarily focuses on the design and production of handcrafted bags, shoes, fashion accessories, and corporate gift items using African materials to supply Africa's high-demand population as well as international markets such as Afrizar. Odiete, the founder, has won awards and designed the sneakers worn by Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, during the launch of Virgin Atlantic's new uniforms and 30th Anniversary celebration in London because her brand is at the top of the market with creative designs, giving her an advantage over her competitors despite the fact that she only started her business with $100 startup capital. Hesey sources its materials from suppliers who use highly local raw materials. Hesey manufactures high-quality products. Quality African footwear with excellent craftsmanship, resulting in designs that are not only at the top of the market but also in high demand in the African and global markets.
  8. Saye: SAYE debuted in March 2018 following a successful 'kick-starter campaign' that produced 7,000 pairs of sustainable sneakers. SAYE was founded on the premise of giving back to the planet while selling high-quality products, according to CEO and co-founder Marta Llaquet. SAYE sneakers are made in Europe, and they plant two trees for every pair sold. They also use recycled and organic materials.

The classic white sneaker is made from leather offcuts destined for the landfill, organic cotton for the lining and laces, recycled PU (polyurethane) foam for the insole, and recycled wood chips for the reinforcements. Polyurethane is a durable material that extends the life of the product. The entire inventory is sourced from European (mostly Portuguese and Spanish) suppliers.

SAYE claims that its lace is made of organic cotton that has been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. A product bearing this label contains at least 95% organic fibers.

9.   Leather Working Group (LWG) Rated Tannery is in charge of the shoe's pops of color detail. The LWG is an independent group of tanneries and footwear brands that has developed a protocol for assessing tannery environmental performance and promoting sustainable and appropriate environmental practices in the leather tanning industry.

This is a Nigerian millennial-focused fashion-tech footwear brand. Anthony Sule founded the company in 2017. They like to think of themselves as a local shoe store. They create and sell bespoke and ready-to-wear footwear while providing their clients with a memorable customer experience. It's no surprise that their slogan is "Quality, Lifestyle, and Community." They are establishing a community of millennials who understand the value of innovative thinking and winning through the high quality of their products and services.


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