- Introduces Collections by Bk Proctor, a sneaker/ footwear fashion company
- The sneaker/ footwear industry in Botswana is not clearly defined
Local artist and music producer, Bk Proctor who has been in the music industry for 10 years has recently ventured into the fashion industry and introduced a sneaker/ footwear collection dubbed Collections by Bk Proctor. According to Proctor he believes he has contributed a lot to the music industry and continues to but it was important to diversify and contribute towards other creative avenues like fashion.
He revealed that the sneaker/footwear industry in Botswana is not clearly defined as there are no sneaker/ shoe/ footwear factories here. “The rest of the market is filled with shops selling foreign brands and small uncontrolled and unprofessional shops selling low quality sneakers/ footwear. This situation creates a need for stability and definition in sneaker/ footwear industry and it is this gap that Collections by Bk Proctor is looking to fill,” he adds.
The self-proclaimed sneaker head also shared that he was driven by his passion for sneakers to venture into his business. “Being in the music industry also contributed a lot to the growth if not obsession towards sneakers because as an entertainer it is imperative to always look good, fresh and presentable on and off stage at all times.” It was then that he decided to travel to different countries to look for products that could compliment his brand, something that was unique to the Botswana market and China was where he managed to source his line of footwear. “One may ask, can I get a quality product from China and my response is yes. All these high-end sneaker brands source high quality shoes from China. Is it easy? no, it takes continuous effort and continuous inspection to maintain quality which is why I am in China a lot more of the time, also factories in China produce new designs on a daily basis to keep up with the trends,” he opined.
After identifying a factory, he decided to do his sampling and production in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China given the special characteristics of his products. He shares that whilst he was there he met up with a businesswoman and factory owner Fang Amy Nie, who introduced him to the world of footwear manufacturing and they have been working together ever since. To produce his first collection dubbed, Proctor 1 meant he had to fly to China five to six times a year to monitor weave materials in the sample room and for adjustments and approval. “We wanted to have a product which says or screams Made in Italy in terms of the quality material choice, design and we have achieved that with our advanced experimental first collection,” he said.
Bk Proctor’s first collection, Proctor 1 went through various material selections for the upper and the soles were already produced soles because the factory used produces shoes and sneakers for well-known brands such as Rick Owens, Balenciaga and Giuseppe Zanotti, therefore the first collection is more of an experiment as they adapted ideas from these brands and used some of those brands’ design elements like style and soles. The materials selected for the shoes brought the shoes to life. “We had an infinite menu of material choices, colors, rich leathers, silky mesh, rubber, accessories and high-tech synthetics to create our shoe masterpiece. For the Proctor 1’s although we sampled existing styles and patterns, we achieved our own design for the look and overall feel of the shoes hence why we opted for the highest materials and accessories for the designs,” he said adding that it was finalized to have the shoes in two colours, black and white to represent balance in society.
Commenting on the market for his sneakers, Bk Proctor said the market in general is a vastly growing ,not only locally but internationally. “If we can consume other reputable brands that were produced at the same place as our products we will build our own brands for the world to consume them the same way we consume theirs. We will design and produce shoes which everyone can relate to. We are also open to constructive criticism and suggestions from our customers regarding our products in order to grow and also in that way we allow our customers to design and customize their own design through their preferences,” he said adding that it is well within their plans to make their products available and accessible everywhere in Botswana.
Moreover, Bk Proctor shared that their aspiration is to be the best sneaker fashion brand in and out of Botswana, designed and produced by Batswana for the world. The thought of having your own shoes
designing it from scratch to finish has likely crossed everyone’s mind who obsesses about sneakers but it takes more than just a piqued interest in shoes to bring a piece of footwear to life, he concluded.