This Brand Produced in Africa Allows You To Customize a Single Pair of Sandals in Multiple Ways

omes african shoes
Cameroon native Mr. Nyam, creator of Omes's customizable sandals.
Courtesy of brand.

Looking for that one-of-a-kind sandal? Omes, a British-based supplier of wooden soles, wedges and clogs produced in Cameroon, has launched a collection of women’s styles featuring interchangeable colorful fabric uppers.

The shoes come in wedge and high-heel styles. Both can be personalized with decorative cloths and ribbons tied in multiple ways. Packaged in a shoebox made of sustainable wood, each pair comes with two sets of satin ribbons in different colors.

ones african shoes 1 Omes’s wedge sandal with interchangeable fabric upper. Courtesy of brand.

According to Omes cofounder Peter Glidwitz, the shoes were designed by Cameroon shoemaker Mr. Nyam, who created a fabric sandal in the 1990s that became popular in his native country. Mr. Nyam’s business, however, was negatively impacted by the volume of imported second-hand shoes and those donated by charitable groups.

ones african shoes 2 A crisscross tie sandal from Omes. Courtesy of brand.

Three years ago, however, Mr. Nyam’s luck changed when a friend of Gildwitz’s came across the sandals while on a business trip in Cameroon and tracked down the maker. The three partnered to launch Omes, which began with a fair-trade factory in Cameroon that produced wooden heels and clogs for other shoe brands and designers. Since Omes is a fair-trade manufacturer, each pair sold contributes to reducing poverty in Cameroon.

The collection is available worldwide online, with the sandals retailing for about $74.

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