This Guest Post from features SAWA Sneakers Made in Africa.

Vanichi recently presented a series called “Diversity is the New Luxury” from our Editor-in-Chief, Joy Donnell. The first installment interviewed fashion retail entrepreneur Chekwas Okafor and his e-commerce space, Now, we welcome a Guest Post from the online retailer’s blog. Read below to find out more about SAWA sneakers made in Africa with fresh design that works in any metropolis. For those who are #constantlycurating clothing with story and consciousness, this brand presents flexible options for any men’s footwear collection.


Words by Tia Muhammad

In every fashion enthusiast’s head is that initial little inkling is to dress how they feel. Whether they’re in an upbeat mood, athletic mood, or conscious mood, expression of self is always step number one. Footwear has timelessly been that vehicle to showcase one’s style. Today, there’s a multitude of all types of dress, business, and even casual shoes to fit into each style category, but the Holy Grail to all (and in which is continually pushing out of those confined bounds), is the sneaker. It’s that tried and true, that classic comfort, and that custom pop of style that no one can deny. Sneakers can come in a multitude of colors from exotic materials, styles, and places. It all depends on the cusp of your mood and preference. What’s even more exciting is that you haven’t even seen the best of them yet.

Hailing from the motherland, African sneaker brands have emerged with some of the most sought out, sustainable, and revolutionary designs today. Little may know, but those who do, stop in their tracks once spotted. Brands like SAWA gives the voice back to Africa and the culture. Declaring the footwear collection as an activist fashion project, founder and designer Mehdi Slimani consciously manufactures his shoes in Ethiopia to benefit the continent of Africa. Collaborating with some of the most highly notarized public figures, movements, foundations, and even music artists, SAWA shoes unapologetically exudes urban nostalgia and proudly gives light to African-made goods while keeping you fresh.

Behold 4 Styles from SAWA:



Every kid on the block had a pair… if they were cool. Whether you played basketball or just liked to look fly around the grounds, classic lace-up sneaks like these SAWA Tsague Retro Leather Hightops is what put street style on the map. Inspired from a chapter out of the sixties, these vintage prototypes are modeled after retro-basketball throwbacks. As an ode to where it was created, imprinted on the sole is a map of Africa. If you match its nostalgia with a classic short sleeve button-up shirt and cuffed jeans, be prepared for the nods of admiration coming your way.



Melodramatic and all types of ultra-sleek, the SAWA Tsague Leather Sneaker is straight to the point – no chaser. Mid-cut with retro vibes, the sneaker offers comfort, flexibility, and resistance. Black-on-black is classic enough for the office and always in style for a night out. Made in Africa, this sneaker pays attention to its cultural influence with a pattern on the sole that reveals a map of Africa. We think they’re best with a fitted skinny jean to show off the bespoke high-top aesthetic.



*sighs* Can we just take a moment? These SAWA Lishan Gray-Red Suede Sneakers are as classic in retro vision as they are beaming in energy. The soft neutral suede upper with rouge red trim is matched in style with its high-grade construction, making this African-made sneaker an absolute must-have indulgent. Inspired by African traditional basketwork, the criss-crossed herringbone pattern of the sole reveals the map of Africa. Votes are in – it’s a resounding must to wear these with casual joggers for the winter and with classic doubled denim for year-round.



Clean n’ Cool. That’s totally the vibe once you step into these SAWA Lishan Suede Sneakers. Mid-profiled with a luxe suede upper, its bottom reflects its rich heritage through the map of Africa engraved on its outer sole. Made in Ethiopia, the sneaker combines fashion and function to create a classical rendition of sixties athletic footwear. Our best style advice? Align with its casual bravura with fresh chinos and a crisp polo shirt , then throw it all off with an untamed tattered denim jacket.


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