Wibes is an sustainable and high-end Parisian sneakers brand created by 3 friends born between Paris and Abidjan, and founded in 2017. Inspired by their origins, they imagined sneakers that look like them, with a easy to wear design and original wax fabric from home. From the very beginning, they not only wanted to offer comfortable and elegant low-top sneakers, but above all quality and respectful of the environment and people.
The brand is above all a story of encounters. First of all, there was the meeting between the members of the team: Aurélie and Nicolas, the founders, and Julian, the artistic director. It was also the meeting between two cultures, France and Africa. Childhood friends, Nicolas and Julian were born in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where they grew up and lived for 15 years. Aurélie was born in France and was lulled by stories and memories of Africa brought back by her father who has been working there for more than 20 years. These human and cultural encounters, between Paris and Abidjan, brought them together around common values, stories and passions. And this is what marked the starting point of this beautiful adventure.
Inspired by Côte d’Ivoire and France, its two countries of origin, Wibes is positioning itself as a premium and ethical fashion brand with a minimum impact on the environment as well as a strong social commitment. The team’s ambition is to offer sustainable products throughout the entire creation process and in all its operations: from the production chain to the implementation of partnerships with suppliers committed to respecting the environment and people. Moreover, because Wibes is convinced that the future will not be written without the new generation, the brand is committed to the humans of tomorrow and in particular to associations that defend education. It all starts with our place of birth, Abidjan and soon in France.
It all starts with our place of birth: Côte d'Ivoire and France.
Attached to our origins and our Franco-Ivorian identity as well as our desire to create sneakers with strong ethical values, we decided to combine sustainable materials, such as organic cotton or recycled fabrics, with a little touch of wax fabric made in Côte d’Ivoire to pay tribute to this country we love. The wax chosen are called “classic” and the cutting is random to limit waste: each pair of Wibes sneakers is therefore unique!
It is quite naturally that Julian, the artistic director of Wibes, has designed 3 collections with a strong identity. The Wibes are and will always be thought of “with an elegant and uncluttered design, minimalist and modern lines, with the colorful touches of Ivorian wax, which are the best representation of the mix of the two universes that make Wibes today,” says Julian.
Speaking of style, the team like to analyze the latest color trends. However, it always favors those that remain sober and match your wardrobe essentials such as white, navy blue or camel. To add the African touch to the Wibes, Julian has chosen discreet wax inserts on the heel or around the laces to match the colors of your jeans, skirt or chino! Our canvas sneakers are easy to put on and are designed to be real statements, always bright and stylish.
The adventure is officially launched in 2018 by Aurélie and Nicolas, but the first collection is designed in 2019 by Julian, our artistic director and designer based in Abidjan. True bridge between the two cultures, the sneakers have a fashion DNA with African and french influences. Why Paris? Because Julian, our DA spent his entire childhood there. It is in the City of Light that he developed his love for fashion and shoes. And more particularly, it was in Paris that he nurtured his passion for sneakers, their stories and designs. He is inspired by the atmosphere of the Capital, the districts where he lived and the so particular Parisian atmosphere to design the new collections. It is quite naturally that Paris has become the base camp for part of the team.
For us, fashion has to be sustainable and ethical: from the research and choice of raw materials, to the production and relationship with suppliers and customers.
Wibes is above all a story of human and cultural encounters with the alliance of our two beloved cities: Paris and Abidjan.
Our diverse origins between France, Côte d’Ivoire and Madagascar, have opened our eyes to the world. We attach particular importance to people and more specifically to the education of the youngest, especially women, who are often marginalized by the educational system in some countries. Daughter and son of teachers, education is also a huge part of our history and our lives since our childhood. With this in mind, we have approached an NGO that we know well and that is managed by volunteers, called AIFCI. For 50 years, AIFCI has been working all year round for the education and literacy of Ivorian women. It was obvious for us to support it even in our small level. Thus, as agreed with the volunteers, each pair of Wibes finances a school day for a young woman sponsored by the association. At the same time, we also offer school supplies to keep the center alive. Donations are made once or twice a year during our trips to the Côte d’Ivoire.
Handmade production in Portugal, noble materials and real know-how of confection.
Use of colored and original wax fabrics.
Prices starting at 125€ for a top-of-the-range manufacturing quality.
Sustainable and strong social and environmental commitments placed at the heart of the brand.
For us, it was really important to highlight European know-how since the very first sneakers cerated for many reasons:
The wax fabric used on all our sneakers is a 100% cotton made from hydrophobic waxes, is designed and produced in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. This fabric is very appreciated and used every day in West Africa. There are hundreds of variations of colors and patterns for all occasions and events. Worn by our parents, grandparents, families and relatives, we simply wanted to put it in the spotlight in our first collections.
This is why we have chosen to entrust this mission to Portugal, a country recognized for its expertise in footwear for many years. Wibes sneakers are made in a family-owned factory in the region of Porto, in the north of Portugal. All the raw materials (with the exception of wax) used in the design of our different ranges are European:
The totes bags have become iconic and casual pieces of the dressing room and real fashion accessories! Ours are handcrafted in a small workshop located in Cocody, a historic district of Abidjan, and are made by François, the head tailor of Wibes and his team, which today numbers nearly six people! Promoting local craftsmanship is also an important objective for Wibes. That’s why each tote bag is handmade with recycled cotton and wax scraps from François’ creations.
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