I recently came across Funfere Koroye via his Instagram account (FusionKelvar) and was instantly blown away by his style, designs and hand made shoes. After some emails, and skype conversations we managed to create a quick interview detailing his footwear design & product engineering journey to this point. Check out the interview after the jump to hear what he has to say about how he got into design, what he feels the current state of design is like in Africa, why he decided to move to Italy to learn how to make shoes, and much more.
[highlight] CK – Why did you decided to take it a step further in your shoe education and move to Italy to learn how to make shoes? [/highlight]
FK – Italy was just supposed to be a one year masters in product design but when after immersing my self in the beauty of Tuscany, I realized this pathways for me. I have always made things with my hand but didn’t have a focus I excelled at perfectly. So I spoke to a few professionals and they directed me to Florence. Now I am a student and apprentice for Roberto Ugolini. It is hard explaining how hand making shoes has expanded my knowledge. The process is very much archaic but extremely complex.
[highlight] CK – How is the current state of footwear design in Nigeria? How can we make it better? [/highlight]
FK – Footwear design doesn’t exist in Africa as a whole, neither does product design or proper manufacturing of soft goods. There are craftsmen and artisans of sorts but none with a proper vision of branding and innovation. For one money is important, secondly the youth must push the envelope on creativity. Most people my age are bankers, lawyers and doctors, it seems no one understands design Superseeds just fashion. Nigerians and Africans must dive into the many facets of industrial and product design for things to change. Finally the government must also invest in the “made in Africa” initiative so job provision can be a reality. Talented Africans are left with no options but to relocate out of the continent to make a career.
[highlight] CK – What are your plans for the near future? [/highlight]
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