AINEBYONA: A PATTERN, A FABRIC, A STORY

Truth: Patterns are to heels what personalities are to people. Ms. Independent. Ms. Woman’s Woman. Mrs. Homemaker. Ms Busybody. Ms. Standing with her arms crossed over her chest looking at you like an insect because you did something stupid. Ahem. *cough. *cough. All these women share one distinct trait in their personalities-they are all unique, different from one another.

In the same way, a good pattern always makes the difference; always sets a heel apart.

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Our vision has always been and will always be to be the leading global African footwear designer and distributor of authentic heels that lets users experience the beauty, the diversity and culture of the continent and the African woman. We express this through our shoes, the fabric and patterns of which are based on the women that the shoes epitomize, and the cultures and communities to which they belong. Our heels are craaaazy different. They are full of color and expression and joy, wearable pieces of art that convey, we hope, the uniqueness of women on the continent in ways words could never sufficiently describe.

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This is why we have 27 designs for our collection of 8 different styles. YOU ARE UNIQUE AND OUR SHOES ARE DESIGNED TO SET YOU APART. This is best illustrated in the Ainebyona, the newest addition to our family, which comes in three unique and fantabulous pattern combinations. The Ainebyona marks a creative milestone for all of us. We’ve never made a shoe quite like this one before. Look for yourselves.

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The Ainebyona is passionate and smart. She is a trailblazer and a go getter. Inspired by Hilda Ainebyona Kabushenga; she exemplifies the traits of uniqueness, simplicity, and diversity that influenced our decision to go with a zebra hide/Shuka fabric for one of the designs that creates an effect that still makes us stop for a minute and think ‘Wow. How did we pull that one off?’

Our choice of a zebra hide/Shuka print, although a combination of two very different patterns and designs, was influenced by our desire to find fabrics whose symbolic traits matched those of our inspiration, Hilda Ainebyona Kabushenga. The Zebra is one of Africa’s most unique, well known animals, found in almost every corner of the continent, which illustrates perfectly Hilda’s own journeys throughout Africa. We thought that it would be super-super appropriate that one of our heels would be inspired by someone so well-traveled. The Shuka; the unofficial national blanket or fabric of Kenya, a country we hold close to our hearts because that is where we started our journey; takes this theme even further. We wanted a design that is steeped in years of tradition yet evolving in such a way that it is still something absolutely essential to so many people’s lives in Kenya today. The Shuka is a lot like the African women we admire-Hilda, after all, is able to look so confidently into the future due to a strong foundation set in the past.

We’d like to think of this little design of the Ainebyona as Little Miss Experimental. She likes to explore, to see the world. She isn’t afraid to try new things, crazy combinations and variations. She’s unafraid of who she is and what she represents. She’s different, that’s true. She knows and understands this, makes no excuses for it. She always growing, becoming more than just one thing. Hilda has what they call a killer personality.

We think that that’s kind of amazing because she helped inspire a killer heel.

XOXO

Always Moving Women

Buqisi-Ruux

 

 

African Woman Of The Month December – Patricia ‘The Black Pearl’ Apolot

On an early December morning, Patricia Apolot arrives for training at her coach’s residence in Kololo. It is a gentle, breezy day; not too cold, but not too warm either; perfect for the high intensity strength building workouts she does five days of every week. The air is cool and the sky is light grey in color. There is no music playing, the only sounds being those of her coach, Adam Boumadi, as he calmly speaks words of encouragement and guidance, pushing Patricia and her training partner to move past their limits.

You can almost feel the tension in Patricia’s muscles as she trains. This is hard, hard work, but she pushes on nevertheless, playful and exuberant, always ready for a laugh. When we first met Patricia she struck us as someone who isn’t easily fazed by anything life throws her way. We were right-Patricia Apolot is standing tall in a sport that literally knocks you down, being the reigning Ugandan female Kickboxing champion and holding, at the same time, the World Kickboxing Federation International title. Watching Patricia train, we can’t help but be blown away by this powerful example of a strong African woman.

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In 2016, Buqisi-Ruux is committed to inspiring and moving women all across the African continent. We’ve said it once before, but we’ll keep saying it a thousand times more: We don’t just want you to look great ladies, we also want you to be great. In connection to this, expect a lot of amazing stories about amazing women all doing amazing things on our amazing continent. We want to put the spotlight firmly on these incredible African women; we want to dress them in our heels. After successfully defending her World Kickboxing Federation title against Anita Nagy in November, there was no doubt in our minds that our African Woman of the month this December would be none other than the Black Pearl herself, Patricia Apolot.

(And the crowd goes wild.)

The standing ovation is well deserved. Patricia Apolot has made a name for herself as an aggressive and competitive fighter, and not just in kickboxing alone. She holds a black belt in Taekwondo and was on the Uganda National Boxing team. Not surprisingly, her talents also extend beyond the ring, writing and working on films. Patricia has a reputation for dedication and passion, all of which have pushed her to the pinnacle of success in her sport.

The journey towards this success has been a long one. Patricia Apolot grew up in Ngora in the Eastern region of Uganda under the care of her maternal great grandmother. She describes her childhood experiences of bullying as being responsible for the competitive spirit in her nature. Her biggest challenge, however, is in trying to change public perceptions of women in sport. Kickboxing, like many sports in Uganda, is a male dominated sport. It is easier for male athletes to find funding and sponsorship for events. Supporting fitness among girls and creating opportunities for women in all sports is an important step to improving the sports culture in Uganda, Patricia believes.

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Patricia is undeterred however by current circumstances. She derives her biggest source of motivation from the relationships she builds. It is telling that when we asked her what her biggest achievement was, she replied with the biggest smile on her face; “Friends. Lots and lots of friends.” For Patricia, collaboration is an important aspect of life, a vital piece in the puzzle that is her success. This is best exemplified in her lack of patience of athletes who don’t listen to their coaches. A vital lesson: Success depends on how much you can teach others and how much you are willing to learn in turn.

On a coldish/warmish day in December, Patricia is training for a fight in January. She is calm and collected. She does not complain and stands toe to toe with her male training partner, taking what many would call a punishment with grace, but also giving one back(always with a smile). We chose Patricia Apolot as our African Woman of the month as a nod to the traits in her character we think are worth being inspired by-strength and passion. We are also completely stocked by the idea of a no holds barred African woman is kicking it large in a sport many consider a reserve for men. Looks like the old adage rings true: What boys can do, Girls can do too.

To a real champion, our African Woman of the Month, Patricia Apolot.

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XOXO

Always Moving Women

Buqisi-Ruux

Creativity Is Good For Your Sole – How We Bring Our Heels To Life

A lot of people see creativity as a phenomenon, a spark, an inspiration that strikes suddenly and mysteriously like a bolt of lightning on a dark night. It becomes this mythical thing that you either have or don’t; an energy or ability you cannot mimic, control and bottle to use as you see fit.

We don’t quite agree.

Each pair of high heel we make at Buqisi-Ruux is unique. We put in a lot of time, effort, dedication, and most importantly, creativity into our shoes. One of the more vital aspects of our business plan, our identity, why we do what we do, is our approach to how we conceptualize and create our heels.

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To us, creativity is a process-a thousand or so steps taken to get our heels from an idea and onto your feet. It is a collaboration of countless people and minds, ideas and skills, challenges and critiques, all with an attention to detail and a love for what we do so that we can achieve a heel that is full of character and style.

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Holding a position at the head of this beautiful, chaotic, creative process is one of our founders and inspirational creative director, Tetsi Bugaari, whose ideas give our shoes that touch of elegance and femininity that pervades so many inspiring African women. Getting the shoe from fantasy to oh-so-beautiful reality is her ball game.

The entire process starts when we select a category of women to focus on and be inspired by. It is from these women that the names, looks and identities of our shoes are derived. The Kwanza collection, our first full collection of shoes, is inspired by members of own family while the AINEBYONA, our newest shoe, is named after  Hilda Ainebyona Kabushenga; an engaging African woman who is blazing her trail, doing her thang, making her impact on our beautiful continent.

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Next we research about the women we’ve selected, really get in touch with who they are and what they represent. What are their defining traits? Can we be inspired by them? This is our way of making the shoes relatable. We want our heels to have character because character is what, ultimately, makes women who they are.

From there we make a list of different shoe styles, assigning each style to a personality. Ainebyona is passionate, hard working and smart therefore we chose a shoe style that is an amalgamation-a strap heel that is both elegant and practical. You can take it to a party. You can take it to the office. It’s always been important to us that the style of our shoes always connects to the personality of the woman it is inspired by. After all, art always mimics life.

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It is after this stage that we choose the fabric of the shoe, the look of its colors, our major emphasis falling on African prints and designs.  We explore the colors that shape the hometowns and the cultures of the women who inspire us, drawing from these the final flourish that sets our shoes and the women who wear them apart.

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Our shoes are works of wearable art, little pieces of beauty we give to you and the world. We place an overwhelming importance on creativity, passion, beauty, and originality. You can expect nothing less from the heels that move the women who move you.

XOXO

Always Moving Women

Buqisi-Ruux

First Look: Ainebyona

Over the past few years, we’ve operated under the philosophy that we are, first and foremost, a footwear brand that celebrates African women and all they represent-diversity, vibrancy and boldness. Our shoes are more than just a fashion statement, they are wearable pieces of art; each high heel an expression of gratitude towards the women closest to us, the women who inspire and move us to be better.

For us, the string that holds Buqisi-Ruux together is family. We are all very close. We grew up together and we lived in each other’s houses. When we looked for names for each of the shoes we made it was automatic then that family would be the first source of inspiration.

Our first collection of shoes-The Kwanza collection which features the ATAMBA, the KITAMI, the MURUNGI, the SAMALI, the BARUNGI, the JBK, the KUKUNDA, and the SHONA-was inspired by members of our own family.  We wanted our shoes to represent a  diverse group of women; some young, some hip, some vibrant; women we are all intimately connected to; women we admire.

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To better illustrate many of the values we esteem, each of the eight shoes in the collection represents particular qualities their inspirations possessed, qualities we believe that every woman should have.

                             ATAMBA                                  Calm & Composed

                             KITAMI                                    Sophisticated & Elegant

                             MURUNGI                               Playful & Unpredictable

                             SAMALI                                   Vibrant & Bold

                            BARUNGI                                 Edgy & Fearless

                            JBK                                           Timeless & Soulful

                           KUKUNDA                                Poised & Graceful

                           SHONA                                     Fierce & Confident

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It is truly amazing that we have the opportunity; through our high quality, fashion forward, African print shoes; to move the women who move us.

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And now, as 2016 looms ahead, it with particular pleasure that we announce the newest member of our shoe collection-

AINEBYONA

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Go Getter, Passionate, Smart, Trail Blazer

Ainebyona is our first shoe line that takes its name, not from a member of our own family, but from someone we consider to be just as inspirational, a truly modern African woman- Hilda Ainebyona Kabushenga.

A lawyer currently working in Lagos, Nigeria, she is extremely intelligent and well traveled. She has also lived in Barcelona (Ole!) and Nairobi. Hilda Ainebyona Kabushenga is the perfect example of a new kind of African woman, one who still prioritizes family and tradition with a comprehensive view of the world. Here is a woman blazing a trail, showing us all how it’s done.

Like Hilda herself, the AINEBYONA is an easy, flexible, multi-purpose shoe. You can work it at the office; you can work it at a party. Made using three different fabric designs, the AINEBYONA continues the Kwanza collection’s emphasis on uniqueness and a connection to Africa. The first design is based on the Shuka, the blanket traditionally worn by the Masai in Kenya. The second is a print based on a black/white zebra hide which is an animal you can find anywhere on the continent, while the third is an amalgamation of the two, creating a look unlike any other you will ever see.

A new year, a new chapter, a new shoe. We are proud of the work we’ve put into the AINEBYONA, a high quality high heel made just for YOU. Find it at Bold Kampala and Kung’ara Kenya Nairobi.

XOXO

Always Moving Women

Buqisi-Ruux

 

Buqisi-Ruux: More To Come

Giuseppe Zanotti once said

High heels are like a beauty lift. In a flat, you can feel beautiful, but a stiletto changes your mood, how you move-like a wild, beautiful animal.

We totally agree.

When a woman wears a heel, or any shoe for that matter, she should feel feminine and empowered. Putting on high heels can accentuate any outfit, making you look good. When you look good, you feel even better, and when you feel even better, you’re more energetic, more confident, more beautiful. There is nothing in this world quite as uplifting as a pair of killer heels.

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Born out of a passionate desire to provide this experience to women through heels that are distinctly African in design, material and conception; Buqisi-Ruux aims to be a globally competitive brand blazing a trail (always in high heels, of course) in footwear and fashion all across our beautiful continent. We are devoted to uplifting and empowering women in Africa; not just through our fashion forward, African print high heels designed to make you look and feel amazing on your feet; but also by providing women, through our social media platforms and support for causes which have all women at heart, with the necessary skills they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives. #AfricaOnYourFeet. #MovingWomen. We don’t just want you to look great. We want you to be great.

This core ideal is encapsulated in our name. Buqisi-Ruux. Buqisi being the title used by some of the ancient queens of Egypt, and Ruux being a shortened version of Rukungiri, the home village of our founders Lynn Bugaari, Tetsi Bugaari and Nuba Elamin. Together these two words mean ‘Queen of the Village’ focusing on the importance of women in our society, their role in our culture, and the part they play in the future of Africa.

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Like these women who inspire us every day, our line of shoes are unique and diverse. We place an overwhelming emphasis on quality and individuality because we understand that no woman is the same, that her view and experience of life are singular and unequaled. This is why we make shoes that remind you of how special you are every single time you put them on.

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Since 2014, Buqisi-Ruux has released eight lines of shoes, all inspired by women we admire. Kitami, Samali, Shona, JBK, Murungi, Barungi, Atamba, Kukunda. Now we are proud to present the ninth member of our family AINEBYONA which is inspired by Hilda Ainebyona Kabushenga  an inspirational woman who characterizes all the values we esteem: passion, diversity, hard work.

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It is these values in the end that prompt everything we have done and everything we do. As 2015 draws to a close, we are committed more than ever to providing you with the complete Buqisi-Ruux experience.  We want to take this opportunity to say a giant ‘Asante Sana’ to everyone who has been with us so far and a big welcome to everyone who wants to be a part of our conversation in 2016. Get your heels ready. There’s so much more to come.

Always Moving Women

Buqisi-Ruux