“Create trendy, elegant shoes that are high quality and stylish, using traditional printed material for African wrappers”. This is Wibes shoes, the innovative concept that two SKEMA students Aurélie Gisclon and Nicolas Raudrant propose original trainers. This also serves a social purpose using the current trend for the African printed material used for wrappers. Wibes has just been awarded the first prize of the competition of the UNICE Foundation (10 000 euros) and the Nice city prize (6 months in an incubator).
“The idea is to combine the African and European cultures to create products that are unique and symbolize our complicity,” said Aurélie and Nicolas. They had the idea 8 months ago when they met on the SKEMA campus in Raleigh. Aurélie was born in Nice and Nicolas in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The fruit of their meeting can be seen in the combined identity of their products.
Wibes (a combination of wax, the word used for wrapper from the original process used to print the material, and “vibes”) is committed to contributing to the dynamism of the African continent, particularly West Africa, developing an ethical and socially responsible view of business. “That is why we have decided to partner with the AIFCI (Association Internationale des Femmes de Côte d’Ivoire), which is based in Abidjan. For over 50 years the association has been working to provide access to education for the poorest, especially women and children. For each pair of Wibes bought, we fund a day of apprenticeship for a woman or young girl in this association,” they explain.
To finance their first collection, Aurélie and Nicolas are launching a Crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter starting on 22 January 2018. Their objective is to raise €15,000 (the equivalent of about 250 pairs of trainers). All the shoes, tote bags, and other exclusive items can be pre-ordered. (click here).
The Wibes shoes are made by hand in a family run workshop in the region of Porto in Portugal; they are packed on-site and sent to an external logistics company based in Belgium. The shoes will, therefore, be available worldwide as soon as the website is up and running and the Kickstarter campaign underway.
Discover the world of Wibes on social networks @wibesshoes (Facebook – Instagram – Twitter).
For further information regarding Wibes Shoes or the services that SKEMA Ventures offers, feel free to contact us or to leave a comment!