inspired by meticulous craftsmanship and traditional techniques, the social enterprise creates its products with strong ties and connect strong ties to the community in ethiopia.
when it comes to ethiopia, we think of vast sandy deserts, wildlife migration and the best yigacheffe coffee in the world. what we have yet to discover about the faraway land of Africa is its reputation and status as the world’s next hub for high fashion. in the new light of the african country, we see a growing trend of new ideas in fashion here, and among the luxury labels edging out to see the world, meet enzi, the stylish shoe brands hailing from this east african country.
founded in 2011 in kenya by high school friends jawad braye and azariah mengistu, enzi set up shop in ethiopia, where the finest leather is sourced for the creation of premium footwear from the brand. the brand also adapts off-cut hides for the brand’s made-to-order shoes as a sustainable measure to minimise wastage.
enzi is meticulous in the detail, each pair of footwear is complete with a shoe bag made with a blanket called gabi. the gabi bears great national identity to ethiopia, as the blanket is synonymous to comfort thanks to hand-woven and hand-spun cotton used in the making of such product which can keep warm during the cold rainy season. the gabis are also made in a small local ngo that aids marginalised women in the country, providing support in job placement and training to unprivileged women in ethiopia. the shoebox is also part of enzi’s engagement with local social entrepreneurs. fibres from a false banana tree local to ethiopia are collected and processed and turned into a malleable paper to create the eco-friendly shoe box.
enzi’s footwear collection is truly unique, as each pair of shoes are hand-made by local artisans trained with traditional weaving techniques where craftsmanship is at the more esteemed level with flawless execution. in april 2021, enzi launches the jagama, a brand new low-cut style footwear to the collection of leather shoes for the brand, including the best-selling mid-cut nkrumah shoes. the new jagama, features less lining in the quarter section with added strategic perforation for better breathability, realising the shoe design’s true potential to be worn on virtually any occasion.
despite a budding fashion label in itself, enzi is polishing an effortless footwear style. on the other hand the brand is proactive in creating a rippling effect to positive social change, projecting from the core of enzi’s value to its consumers and production communities.