Nio Far sneakers
In my search for talented fashion designers on the African continent, my journey has brought me to Senegal. Situated on Africa’s west coast, Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa. The capital, Dakar, is an elegant yet chaotic city with vibrant markets and an exuberant nightlife. If you feel like lowering your pace, you can easily escape to one of the beautiful beaches Senegal has to offer. Stroll down to Île de Gorée or the beaches of Yoff and N’Gor. Next to beautiful beaches, vibrant markets and a dizzying nightlife, Senegal is proudly presenting its creative talents. One of the creative talents I instantly fell in love with is, Milcos Badji’s label, Nio Far.
Milcos Badji is a young local designer who recently launched his own sneaker brand, Nio Far by Milcos. The collection is called Nnema, which means comfort. The Nio Far sneakers are all handmade with traditional mud cloth. Mud cloth is a Malian textile made from hand woven cotton, dyed in multiple processes with leaves, branches, and river mud. As Africa is the continent of spirituality, every pattern in a fabric has its own unique story and meaning. The same applies to the patterns used in the Nio Far sneakers. Each symbol and shape in the mud cloth tell a story. Depending on the pattern, meaning can be given to social status, character, the history of the community, etc. In addition to the use of story telling patterns, Milcos Badji stitched African proverbs into the patterns.
The meaning behind the Nio Far sneaker collection is explained as follows: a comb like shape represents the bones of a snake, and is a sign of bravery. A pattern that symbolises the belt of a warrior, means courage. The wearer presents to the world that he/she is fearless. Circle type of shapes represents family and community. The zigzag triangles indicating the elbow of the Iguana symbolise good fortune.
In line with African spirituality and meaning, the Nio Far sneakers are made both for men and women. Highlighting the importance of balance in our universe; male and female. One does not exist without the other. Carefully choose yours to strengthen your personality.
Leaving the poetic journey of Senegal behind, I take with me all that I’ve learned from Milcos Badji and his mesmerising Nio Far sneaker collection. I know I will be back in the near future to explore more of the Nio Far by Milcos brand. I will update you once the Nio Far sneakers are available for sale here at JANET + GEORGE. The brand’s website is currently under development, but you can review their website here.
All images were taken by, Siaka Traore, an up-and-coming Dakar based Cameroonian photographer.