As we return to our sense of self and style after pandemic dressing stifled some of our tastes, assumptions are changing about when, where, and how clothes are worn. But without dwelling too much on how the pandemic changed our relationship with clothing, it must be mentioned that the trends many find themselves gravitating toward right now manifest how different style tribes are reclaiming fashion. Some have referred to it as ‘pandemic revenge dressing,’ which welcomes the return of glamor (even sans occasion) and ditching sartorial rules as we once knew them. But, of course, this phenomenon has also gained momentum in the footwear industry, and ultimately, there is no better season for footwear than Summer when toes and heels are out as we shed our Winter warmers in favor of more exotic and exciting shoe options. Perusing Industrie Africa’s footwear offering—meticulously designed and crafted by African designers and artisans—gives one a peek into the anticipated return of the statement shoe. So whether you opt for an unpretentious sandal courtesy of Orange Culture or a sculptural design from Maliko, discover the standout shoes that will have you feeling footloose and fancy-free.
Every season usually prompts us to pick a pair of shoes that will work harder than the rest. This pair of shoes usually stays top of mind for most outfit options because of their practicality and versatility. Leading the pack for high-summer shoes are the likes of Shekudo, Loza Maleombho, and Orange Culture for island vacations, Sunday markets, and beach outings to come. In addition, mules have secured a spot as a summer staple in several closets. We’ve chosen two mule options from Skehudo that add character to any ensemble—the Adiza Mule in a striking green hue and the embroidered Ilamoye Mule crafted from colorful Aso-Oke. If Y2K is calling, Maliko’s Chineye Slippers are answering. The exaggerated platform of these slippers brings back the offbeat charm of early-aughts fashion, while the leather upper gives an otherwise casual shoe a more refined appeal. Classic yet regal, Loza Maleombho’s Fah Plus Sandals, crafted by Ivorian artisans, are best styled with knee-grazing dresses or matching sets fit for summer soirees. Finally, rely on Orange Culture’s Across Rope Sandies to go the distance throughout your summer activities.
Transitional dressing is all about balance, isn’t it? Well, here, one might find grace in the fact that options are more abundant by virtue of season-bending footwear designs. These shoes are designed to take you through the easing of extreme temperatures between high summer and high winter. Consider clogs the footwear equivalent of the enduring trench coat. Two standout options on Industrie Africa are the Shekudo Basjia Clogs and the Maliko Ebele Slippers. As a color associated with newness and rebirth, wearing green is an apt way to usher in a new season with the Basjia Clogs from the ‘Her Lake’ collection, which promises to elevate your look and mood. If you’re doubling down on clogs, the leather upper and wooden heel combo of the Ebele Slippers makes this shoe more of an everyday option than the eccentric, green weekend-ready clogs. From Maliko’s Afin-Nity collection comes the Ayo and the Nduka sandals. Make these speckled leather shoes a regular fixture in your outfit rotation and mirror this collection’s sentiment of beauty as a constant. Worn with either casual denim looks or tailored pants and fit-and-flare skirts, these shoes don’t require the rest of the ensemble to be excessively punctuated with extra details or prints.
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