Simba Jemwa, Showbiz Reporter
ANY piece of footwear could be said to define our age, it would be the sneakers, or as they are called these days, ‘kicks’.
Sneakers are effortlessly cool and come in a diverse range of styles, ranging from the striking to the sublime. As Bulawayo readies itself for the Bulawayo Sneakers Expo which will be held at The Barn on 22 October, this duo is in its element. The Kings of kicks have partnered Mthulisi and Mlamuli Moyo from Wood Affair for the Bulawayo Sneaker Expo.
And two Bulawayo cats have become sworn disciples of the sneaker. In fact, one could say with a fair bit of conviction, their business is almost a church dedicated to sneaker culture. Even a brief visit to this duo is enough to convince anyone that they are serious about any footwear that ticks the athletic, comfortable, and seriously cool boxes.
Davison ‘Diva’ Feliate and Leroy Waps sell all the big brands in the game, from Nike to Adidas, at unbeatable prices and offer a range of styles from retro to ultra-modern. They are also working towards developing a handy-to-use app to make finding them and their gear much easier.
Feliate explained, “We’re a consignment business, meaning we source products from independent sellers who use our networks to sell shoes. Therefore our range is extensive, and we offer something for everyone.”
When Germany’s Adi Dassler created a piece of footwear in 1924 and named it after himself, a global phenomenon was born. At the 1936 Olympics, when Jesse Owens won four gold medals, guess what he was wearing on his feet? You got it! Adidas.
Yet, it wasn’t until the 1950s that sneakers moved from the domain of track and field into popular culture. And once teenagers had a taste of this cooler than cool footwear, there was no turning back. The most famous sneaker ever made was created in 1984 when Michael Jordan collaborated with Nike to create Air Jordans.
Since then, the technology behind sneakers has got smarter, the colours more vivid, and the designs more flamboyant. But one key fact that remains is that sneakers have outpaced loafers, shoes, boots, and heels to become the footwear of choice for individuals who value both comfort and style.
“We’re proud to play our role in the evolution of the sneaker. We believe in giving people what they want and what they want is sneakers and lots of them. We believe we have something for everyone on our site, from celebrity-endorsed products to funky footwear, retro-chic, and the sort of styles that are fresh off the street. If it’s out there, we stock it. Our mission is to get as many pairs of feet into as many rocking sneakers as possible. So roll up and walk this way!” says Feliate.
The duo boasts of an exclusive range of sneakers, the most comfortable of all footwear and has established itself as THE destination of authentic and premium sneakers.
Their growth in the business has been spurred by constantly keeping in mind the trends today. Consumers today pick comfort over style and as Waps puts it: “Fashion is all about comfort and feeling good.”
Feliate and his partner, Waps, appreciate that people today are conscious of what they wear, how they look, and the statement they make with their dressing sense. They keep updating their sneaker collection and will sometimes even showcase designer collections like Adidas Yeezy, a brand collaboration with famous rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West. They also have Off-
White, Nike, and Air Jordan and their sneaker collection is quite a rage among the millennials.
They have included design models from a base price range to high-end exclusive ones. The sneakers available are low top sneakers, high top sneakers, luxury sneakers, and slip-on. They also have a diverse range of basketball shoes, tennis shoes, and running shoes and soon plan to open their online store in the near future.
Celebrities in Bulawayo vouch for their authenticity and have endorsed their sneaker collections while prominent social media stars swear by their customer service.
One artist who asked not to be named shares: “It is a privilege to have all my favourite shoes under one roof. Sneakers are my go-to for every event. Waps and Diva make sure that I have the latest designer models in my collection. I own several sneakers from their collection. They are authentic, top-notch, and I love them.”
The duo anticipates a heavy demand for kicks at the Sneaker Expo and have guaranteed that men, women, young adults and children will have a diverse range of sneakers to choose from given that sneakers have evolved with time.
“Today, they are not just comfortable, they are versatile!” shares Waps.
“Sneakers come in so many styles. You have leather sneakers, printed, even neon colours to add to your style statement.
Finally, there is one piece of footwear that tops everyone’s list. So, you have cutting edge style, breathable fabric, and sturdy support for your feet. Sneakers are the new fashion statement for everyone.” –@RealSimbaJemwa.