This is the innovative concept that two SKEMA students have employed to come up with their exciting products. Aurélie Gisclon and Nicolas Raudrant, through Wibes, offer original sneakers that also serve a social purpose using the current trend for African printed material.
Wibes has just been awarded the first prize of the competition of the UNICE Foundation (€10 000) and the Nice city prize (six months in an incubator).
"The idea is to combine African and European cultures to create products that are unique and symbolise our collaboration" say Aurélie and Nicolas. They had the idea eight months ago when they met on the SKEMA campus in Raleigh. Aurélie was born in Nice and Nicolas in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The fruit of their meeting can be seen in the combined identity of their products.
Wibes is committed to contributing to the dynamism of the African continent, particularly west Africa, developing an ethical and socially responsible view of business. "That's why we have decided to partner with the International Association of Women of Côte d' Ivoire, which is based in Abidjan. For over 50 years, the association has been working to provide access to education for the poorest, especially women and children. For each pair of Wibes bought, we fund a day of apprenticeship for a woman or young girl in this association", they explain.
The shoes are made by hand in a family-run workshop in the region of Porto in Portugal. They are packed on-site and sent to an external logistics company based in Belgium. The shoes will be available worldwide as soon as the website is up and running and the Kickstarter campaign under way.