Enzi shoes, founded in 2012 by Azariah Mengistu and Jawad Braye, is an Ethiopian footwear brand commited to making products of the highest quality. The brand seeks to show excellence in production, design and materials and operate with strong social and environmental morals.
“Our mission is to change perceptions of Africa with beautifully crafted and designed footwear,” says Mengistu, who hopes that Enzi’s well-made shoes will help raise the profile of East African design products.
Braye studied footwear production and design in London and has over 10 years experience in the industry. Ethiopian craftsmen, who receive skills training on site, make the menswear range.
The Enzi workshop is currently situated in a small garage in Addis Ababa, where the craftsmen are able to make up to five pairs a day. Later this year they are moving to a bigger facility, where they anticipate their production will increase.
“I think each African country has its own set of challenges and advantages. Something that is probably universal for people like us is the lack of funding or capital available. NGOs and Aid organisations tend to over look businesses like ours even if we are socially responsible,” says Mengistu.
Enzi shoes currently sell in Honk Kong and at selected retailers in Europe.