Whenever I visit my home of South Africa, I always keep my peepers peeled for new home grown talent. I love the way South African designers combine tradition with contemporary design, making a perfect fit for Artisans & Adventurers.
One such designer is Reggi Xaba, whose luxury sandal brand, iFele, are handcrafted in rural KwaZulu. I spent a long time living in this area so anything from here catches my eye! I spotted Reggi’s sandals on my last trip to South Africa and pounced on them, immediately buying two pairs – one for myself and one for my business partner, Amy, so we could test them out on the streets of London. We had so many positive comments on our individual footwear that it was a logical decision to import some for our stores.
We are proud to be the first shop in the U.K. to be selling iFele sandals and so far they have been met with great excitement by Englands 'urban nomads' - iFele’s Instagram feed is full of happy customers walking around the world in these seriously cool and comfy sandals.
Mixing design elements from his background with modern details, Reggie has come up with a brand that perfectly incorporates history with modern design. iFele is the Xhosa tribe's word for skin. The sandals draw inspiration from the traditional Zulu sandals named, 'Izibadada', which are made from discarded tyres and decorated with white triangles, these durable sandals are worn all over Zululand. Made by rural craftsmen and woman in Zululand as part of a rural skills development and empowerment programme, every pair made supports job creation and social uplift.
We love our iFele’s and know you will love yours too! Go on, take a pair with you on your next adventure and spread the iFele love.