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Accessories: Schier Shoes Herero Advertising Campaign

Schier Shoes [Namibia]  

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Lately, the unique style of Namibia’s Herero Women has been the inspiration for several fashion collections, and a recent advertising campaign by Namibian footwear maker, Schier Shoes brought a smile to my face, its embracement of this spirit of individuality and enjoyment of life whatever your age and wherever you are. Based in Swakopmund, Namibia, the company Herbert Schier has been manufacturing Veldskoen shoes since 1938. Although more mainly associated with Namibia and South Africa, those from the Southern African region will be familiar with Veldskoen’s or ‘Vellies’ as they are more commonly known, a type of rugged suede footwear that I can recall in Zimbabwe being a staple, given its durability, amongst the uniformed professions such as the Airforce and Safari Guides as well as farmers all of whom seemed to favour the shoe in a light sandy brown colour, or maybe that was the only choice available at the time!

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[Image credits: Schier Shoes]

Growing up I witnessed ‘Vellies’ going from utilitarian to wider social acceptance and I remember some of my friends wearing them to school, and the adoption of bright colours has seen them become the shoe for choice for artistic types and musicians, a trend which still resonates today. Although I liked the bright colours I couldn’t quite bring myself round to wearing a pair, as far as I was concerned they were boy’s shoes! Having said that, whether you are eight or eighty the Schier Shoes campaign is bringing Velskoen’s to a new generation that reaches beyond the shores of Namibia.

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[Image credit: Erongo Blue – Schier Shoes]

A precursor to the modern Desert Boot, Velskoen’s were first made in the 1600s when they were crafted from local raw materials using a design inspired by the footwear worn by the Khoisan Tribe. Today a small team that comprises eight gentlemen from Namibia’s Damara tribe produces twenty pairs of shoes an afternoon, all made to order for shipment to the Schier Shoes retail base in New York.

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[Image credits: Schier Shoes]

Sporting a buttery soft traditional suede or leather finish, are handmade from Kudu hides that come from legal sources as part of a Namibian government conservation mandate, and as a result of the natural markings and blemishes in the hides each shoe produced is one of a kind. No nails are used to craft the shoes and features include a leather footbed, brass rivets, a reinforced leather heel counter, and a simple re-soleable rubber sole. The shoes are hand finished using a knife to perfect the outer texture of the leather.

Available for men and women some of the styles are made with leathers that have been dyed with vegetable dyes in colours that bring to mind the intensity of the Namibian desert.

Additional details:
Shoes priced from: USD$180-USD$235
Orders take 6-8 weeks for delivery
For further information about Schier visit: http://schiershoes.com   

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