Reva Stryder: Designed in Lagos, handcrafted in Italy
In 2014, Temitola Olanrewaju started her career as an Executive Trainee in Corporate Banking. As a relationship manager, she easily identified several industries that were disregarded or underdeveloped in Nigeria.
With an ardent passion but no prior experience, she was convinced that she could achieve her dreams of creating Nigeria’s First Female Footwear Luxury Brand. Her goal is simple “to create a lifestyle footwear brand with unique designs that match the international standard of luxury yet extremely comfortable”.
With a clear vision but no finance, Temi spent the last months of 2016 studying footwear locally, creating a business plan and pitching her idea from one potential investor to another (while still working her day job at the bank). Her request was rather herculean – Not only was she asking for funds to start the business, she was asking for funds to attend one of Italy’s finest footwear luxury academies.
Notwithstanding the several rejections, she persistently pitched her idea again for the ninth time and received a yes at age 24. She made her first step into the luxury footwear world by earning two professional degrees as a certified footwear designer and footwear pattern engineer at Arsutoria School of Design , the Milan based luxury footwear academy between 2017/18’.
Between 2018/19’, she achieved the complex task of convincing Azzedine Alaia’s foremost footwear manufacturer in Italy to produce for her new brand, without a third party agent. This same factory is currently home to luxury brands at the top of Haute Couture and Prêtà-porter such as: Gianvito Rossi, Gucci, Azzedine Alaia, Versace, Cesare Paccioti, Midnight Zero – Zero, Tommy Hilfiger and Giambattista Valli to mention a few.
Reva Stryder is the first African footwear brand to successfully partner with the 45 year old factory for footwear production.
For her debut capsule collection, the goal was simple. She says “I want to make everyday lifestyle shoes as elegant and breath-taking as red carpet shoes but still extremely comfortable because you practically live your whole day in them”.
After three years of strategic planning and an impeccable execution, Reva Stryder released selected designs from her first collection in September 2019 called “Forever Reva”.
The Italian Made luxury female footwear brand is partially named after the designer, Rebecca.
Her name, Rebecca, originates from the Hebrew name “Revka” which means a “captivating strong warrior “, which is exactly how the designer captures the 21st Century Woman. “Stryder” comes from the verb “to stride” which means to
“take long decisive steps in a specific direction (movement). After merging both words, the nature of the Reva Stryder woman was born.
The Reva Stryder woman (RVS) is a modern day captivating warrior who takes long decisive steps to achieve her goals; she has a purpose (a vision) and will stride to the ends of the earth to reach them.
Within a space of four months, the new brand is fast building its own client base of professional women such as Adaeze Udensi – ED, Titan Trust Bank, Lara Olaniran – CEO, Zone 4 Energy, Hon Toke Benson , Commissioner for Housing, Powede Awujo , Obatoyinbo, MD, FBN Quest funds to mention a few.
“My shoes are made exclusively for the woman who sets out each day to nurture the works of her hands and surely has a clear definition of where she is headed. They are made for the woman tired of commuting around with extra pair of shoes and bearing the pain of breaking into shoes.
This woman has a clear preference for quality and understands that style and comfort results in a proper body carriage which in turn communicates her confidence. With my perfect shoes, you’ll never walk alone.” Temitola says.