Last week I was heading to Ethiopia to visit our team, factories and tanneries. Making a quick stop via Entebbe, Uganda, I was not expecting much of the stopover, as it was only a 5 hour stop in the middle of the night, but something a bit magical happened.
After picking up my bags, as I entered the elevator, I saw an airport worker running for the lift, so I held it for him. He made it in a huff and kindly asked me where I was going. I shared that I was going to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia via Ethiopian Airlines and he said to follow him as he works for that airline. Its 1am at this point, and with nothing to do, I follow. He was genuine and nice but as we’re walking to his office, something about his foot candy looked oddly familiar. To confirm what I already knew at this point, I said, what brand are you wearing and he says “I don’t know but it was a gift recently by the Ethiopian embassy in Uganda for our work in moving cargo for Ethiopian Airlines.”
So I ask him if I can see the inside of his shoe and he quickly looks at my shoes (I was wearing the ADIBO Black Sheep boots) and he says with humble curiosity, “you are the manufacture of these shoes!?!.” So we talk a bit and I tell him about Oliberté, our footwear and our passion to make quality footwear in Africa.
Its interesting that our shoes have become a political gift between African countries. I didn’t have that in mind when I first thought about the impact we would have in making premium boots and sneakers in Africa – but this is amazing. This is Oliberté.
Anyway, Kenneth (pictured above), says he loves the style of the Oliberté boots (though he thought they were safety boots, hence why he is wearing them at the airport) and he went on and on about how comfortable they are and how his girlfriend says they make him look cool-it’s awesome that from New York to Tokyo to Entebbe, the ADIBO chukka is a fan favourite.
Just a nice encounter I thought I’d share sitting in an airport getting ready for the holidays.
This is Africa.
Published by: admin on December 12th, 2010 | Filed under Media, Stories
Published by: admin on April 16th, 2010 | Filed under pictures
10 Comments »
Check out some of the recent press on our ADIBO Chukka Boots. Some like to call it OBIDO, OBIDA – but all the same – check out the ADIBO at www.oliberte.com/shoes.
Oliberte Obido Chukka Boot @ hypebeast.com
Oliberté | The Adibo Classic Desert Boot @ Cultureshoq.com
Oliberté Adibo Chukka @ The Freshman Collective
Oliberté Adibo Desert Boot @ Highsnobiety.com
Oliberté – Spring/Summer 2010 Sneakers @ freshness.com
Footwear: Oliberté Adibo @ MarcusTroy.com
The Oliberte Obida Chukka Boot Helps Build Africa @ TrendHunter.com
OLIBERTE – OBIDO @ RonnieFieg.com
Published by: admin on April 16th, 2010 | Filed under Media
Published by: admin on April 3rd, 2010 | Filed under Uncategorized
So what’s with this whole Africa thing people ask us sometimes. It’s simple, Oliberté is about creating a better Africa, that people see differently. And we do it by creating premium shoes, made of the highest quality possible working with amazing people – all in Africa. This is an Africa that is full of pride, power and liberty and aside from just being a tag line, Oliberté believes if you can show that anything, especially shoes made in Africa can be of the highest quality in the world combined with the right styles, and done in a way that respects every one from farmers to factory works to customers, we really do believe this is the best way to show the new and real Africa will thrive. That’s why we do it in Africa – that’s why Oliberté is Made in Africa.
Published by: admin on March 16th, 2010 | Filed under Uncategorized
Tipped to their customers as the “Most Wanted” brand, West Hollywood store LIVE! On Sunset have shown their passion and support for Oliberté in the latest edition of their Newsletter.
Published by: admin on February 18th, 2010 | Filed under Stores
Just for the 2010 VANCOUVER OLYMPICS…
FREE SHIPPING on orders at www.oliberte.com/shoes when shipped in Canada and USA. International Orders outside of Canada and USA will have a reduced fee of $20CAD.
This is valid starting today, February 9th, and ends February 28th at midnight after the Olympic closing ceremonies. Final returns will continue to have a $15CAD fee. Exchanges for sizes or styles will continue to be free.
Published by: admin on February 9th, 2010 | Filed under Uncategorized
Oliberté is the first premium footwear to be made in Africa, using materials from Africa.
We use premium leather from Ethiopia.
Every stitch, each cut, any piece of our footwear is a colloboration of 100+ amazing women and men that want you to see the real Africa.
Oliberté Footwear. This is the real Africa.
Published by: admin on January 16th, 2010 | Filed under Uncategorized
Now that it’s aired, we can finally talk about Tal’s pitch in the Den on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
We taped the show way back in May ‘09 and I was actually pitching for about 40 minutes. A lot has changed since then and what was cut out was that those shoes were just prototypes as we rushed to get the factories to make them in time for filming – our shoes on our site now are our full line to date, quite different and so far, doing well and you can order online at: www.oliberte.com/shoes That said, great experience to pitch in the Den.
About Jeanne Beker, to be honest, I didn’t have a clue who she was. I pretended I did and they cut out a part when I’m talking to Dianne Buckner where I said that I didn’t even know who she was. That said, yes, she was a bit tough on us but in all honesty, she’s not really our target market or has a strong sense of fashion that is not high-end fashion. We’re a bit more contemporary and a a bit out of her fashion-diva comfort. That said, our shoes were not fully launched when we pitched and just prototypes so we can respect her thoughts given what she had in front of her.
All the other dragons were pretty nice too – no complaints. We were really thinking it would come down to Brett and Arlene, but Brett really just wasn’t interested – made sense. Again, I have a lot of respect as given where they were sitting with no sales back in May, it’s a tough sell on the valuation. What they didn’t show was that at the end I’m shaking hands with all of them and Jim and Arlene ask me to get in touch with them after the show. We’ve been talking for a number of months about them possibly investing – it’s a process and we will see what happens. They are both very savy and love the idea behind Oliberté.
About the staff at CBC – just awesome! There are some super talented, highly underpaid superheros bringing great Canadian programming to our TVs. Thanks CBC for the chance and exposure.
In terms of moving forward, we’re getting there – we’re featured at the upcoming grammys, miss america and bet awards. Also, celebrities wearing and support our shoes already including: K’NAAN, Snoop Dog and Kirsten Stewart.
We already have signed European and Australian distribution agreements which is for 10,000 shoes for the next 12-14 months (just to start) and currently we are in about 25+ stores (mainly USA) across North America.
However, no matter the outcome, I’m being positive about the exposure. There were about 3,000 people that tried out across Canada, only 300 get invited to pitch to the dragons and then of those only 100 are shown on TV and about 75% of those have full segments as we did.
So yeah, again, wish I went on the show with our current line when we were in full production and not development, with all the sales and contracts we do have now. Oh well, that’s life. Luckily, still going strong and your continuing support has been key.
Pride. Power. Liberty. This is Africa.
Published by: admin on January 6th, 2010 | Filed under Media
1 Comment »
Check out our first first with footage from production in Ethiopia.
Music is K’NAAN’s “Waving Flag” which is the official song of Coca Cola’s FIFA World Cup 2010 Sponsorship.
Published by: admin on January 6th, 2010 | Filed under Factories in Ethiopia, Media