We met Andrew Mackenzie, founder of Jésù-Ségun London, a luxury shoe brand inspired by African art. The shoes are handmade in Italy and have an authentic English aura about them.
Because these shoes stand out, they can be seen on many a red carpet around the world. We wanted to find out more about their (very) bespoke service as well as over 100 ready to wear options for men and women. We caught up with Andrew for a chat about all things shoes.
What is behind the name Jésù Ségun London?
The brand is very personal to me so I used my middle names. Jésù stands for Jesus and Ségun means victorious. I wanted to use London in the name to emphasise my place of birth.
Tell us more about the bespoke process and what makes your bespoke offering special?
Our process has two key elements at it’s heart. We create bespoke shoes made to order where I can measure your feet to ensure the shoes fit perfectly. The second element is bespoke designs, when we design a shoe particularly for a client with their contribution or sometimes just from an idea or concept they have. The process can be very creative.
What is the most bespoke order you have ever had? Is there anything you wont do?
The most elaborate pair were some Albert loafers. The client had some Scabal velvet and we enhanced the design with platinum threads and our emblem encrusted in diamonds. These cost £28,000. We pretty much do everything but we must genuinely endorse each design/concept irrespective of profit. I wouldn’t create something I wouldn’t personally wear.
Why did you choose to manufacture your shoes in Italy?
When I started off, my shoes were made in Spain. Today, I’m working with artisans in Italy to create my dreams. The Italians understand my vision and specific attention to detail. First renders are almost always perfect, finishing is impeccable and presentation is flawless.
Tell us about your logo – its really striking
The logo is of Queen Idia, the first Queen Mother of Benin. I infused the Union Jack into her forehead to make everyone aware that this is an African and English brand – two traditions and cultures infused together.
When designing shoes are you driven by creative vision gaps in the market, social media or something else?
I design according to my mood or surroundings, I don’t usually follow the trends. For me, it is all about the end result and making sure that our clients wearing the shoes feel amazing.
So how many shoes do you own?
Believe it or not, I currently only have three pairs of shoes! I’d normally choose a pair and wear it for months on a daily basis to ascertain quality and any potential issues.
Tell us the story behind the green soles
For some styles, the soles are hand painted in green which makes it even more distinctive. I grew up with a lot of challenging life experiences and I thought that green signifies life and renewal. A message of positivity.
What is next for Jésù Ségun?
This year we want to focus on luxury retail so we are looking to be in London department stores as well as going more global with the brand. We also want to create some more accessories to match our shoe collection like this 18ct gold phone case below and also a platinum version.
Are there any new materials you would like to explore further and integrate into your collection?
We are planning on using only organic materials going forward, so no animal skins will be used in the future.
Do you have a personal motto / mantra?
“Stand out from the crowd of mediocrity”