Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Jide Ipaye, founder of KEEXS footwear. A gentle giant and humble soul, Jide is swiftly taking Africa (and the world) by storm with his pioneering sneaker brand. I got to play around with a pair or two, and I liked what I felt!
Keexs – An Innovative and Social Oriented Footwear Brand in Africa.
Born in Nigeria, Jide has a MSC in Microbiology from the University of Lagos, and has 14 years of experience in technology, running an IT company in his home country. With a shoe size to match his accomplishments, Jide struggled to find shoes to fit his size 48 feet. This is how Keexs was born; Jide decided to make his own shoes!
But making shoes for just himself was not enough for ambitious Jide:
“If I’m going to make for others, I figured I might as well set up a factory; a fully fledged one in Lagos, Nigeria, of world class standard, that will produce shoes and create employment for a lot of people, and at the same time, 10% of that will go towards social causes.”
In order to achieve this, Jide recognised the importance of acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to do so. He subsequently traveled to the Netherlands where he attended SLEM, an international innovation and training institute for footwear and leather industries, where he learned how to make shoes from scratch.
Jide then teamed up with friend Moyosore Olowo to raise funds for this new venture, through the crowdfunding platform of KICKSTARTER where they raised enough money to help bring this project to life.
This Afrocentric footwear brand is designed to ”bring out the cool” in any man or woman. From the athlete to the fashionista, this brand is for the expressive and unique individuals who are unapologetic about their style. They’re comfortable and can be (and are encouraged to be) worn with just about any outfit.
Keexs footwear is made with vegan leather, currently being designed in Nigeria and manufactured in the Netherlands. It has had global success and supplies pre-ordered products across Africa, North America, South America, Asia and Europe. KEEXS currently retails across multiple channels such as retail stores, online market places and www.keexs.com in Nigeria and also internationally via online retail.
KEEXS made it’s fashion debut at African Fashion and Design Week Lagos 2016, collaborating with designers such as Ade Bakare Couture and Asake Oge. Their most recent collaboration was with Afrikanswiss at this year’s South African Fashion Week.
Shop the KEEXS Footwear featured in this post: