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Africa Creates: The Art of Shoes ·

Africa Creates: The Art of Shoes
Vered Ehsani

In Kenya, Bata is synonymous with shoes. But where do the designs come from? Enter Esther Kute, a designer who still harbours ambitions to be a pilot.

From the lady herself:

“I have always been in the Arts since I was very young. My sisters and I made up the choir for a church where our holiday house was. When on holiday, we would go to church and sing every Sunday and when it was time to go back home and to school, the pastor would announce to the congregation that the Choir was going away until the next holiday.

Esther Kute

“I have always loved style and all things art. I wanted to be an architect though, as well as an author and a pilot. So when I was called to the University for an undergrad programme in Design, I was really hoping that they meant Architecture. Turns out it actually was a Design course. It was in my second year that I can honestly say I fell in love with Design. I majored in Textiles Design. For my final year undergrad project, I made a fashion collection from waste textiles (old leather jackets, sweaters, denim, etc), which had garments, accessories and shoes.

“Now I work as a creative designer in Bata (Kenya). This basically entails product development of the in-house shoe collection plus other products that may be required.”

In the interview, Esther tells us more about the design process. Did you know how shoes were made? Tell us what you thought!