Price, design inspo: Five things to know about #BathuXSomizi sneakers
Self-proclaimed “King of Bling” Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung has teamed up with a popular local shoe brand, Bathu, to launch BathuXSomizi sneakers.
Here's what you need to know about the kicks and the players involved:
1. BATHU HAS MADE BIG STRIDES IN THE SHOE INDUSTRY
Founded by entrepreneur Theo Baloyi, Bathu (meaning shoes in township slang) dropped its first pair of sneakers in 2015.
Marketed as a “Sneaker Brand from Africa for Africa”, Bathu has since opened 16 stores around SA and its designs have been spotted on many famous feet — including Somizi's, naturally.
Bathu has also collaborated with big brands like Sprite and Castle Lite.
In addition, Bathu is famed for making SA's most expensive locally made sneaker, the Bathu Opel GSI Limited Edition. Only 80 pairs were created and each pair was priced at a jaw-dropping R397,000.
2. SOMIZI HAS LONG BEEN A FAN OF THE BRAND
Shortly after he founded Bathu, Baloyi realised that harnessing some star power would seriously help to spread the word about the brand. He took the initiative to head to the workplaces of some local A-listers, where he'd wait patiently in the lobby hoping to bump into them so he could pitch a collaboration.
One of these influencers was Somizi who, a few weeks later, was seen wearing a pair of Bathu sneakers at the Durban July and has been spotted in them several times since.
Says Baloyi in a press statement: "[#BathuXSomizi sneakers have] been a long time coming. I am personally excited about this collaboration with Somizi. He has been a friend of the brand since inception and this needed to be done the right way.
"I can't wait to see how people receive it.”
3. SOMIZI DROPPED A BIG HINT A COLLAB WAS COMING
Earlier this month, the celeb posted a snap of himself in Baloyi's office on Instagram. He jokingly captioned it "@theo_baloyi meet the new CEO ... "
4. THE NEW SNEAKERS ARE INSPIRED BY THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE
BathuXSomizi sneakers came about because of the love of the finer things in life, the love of celebrating the richness of Africa and the love for just beautiful things, explains Somizi in a press statement.
It was his idea to take inspiration from precious metals and gems for the shoe's design, which is why the sneakers are available in four luxe shades: gold, diamond, platinum and ruby red.
Somizi was also keen that the design of the shoe's box symbolise the night lights of Soweto, which remind him of his upbringing. This is also a nice nod to the origins of the Bathu brand, which Baloyi first dreamed up while living in Alexandra.
5. HOW MUCH — AND WHERE TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THEM
According to TimesLIVE, SA sneakerheads are willing to drop up to R30k on a covetable pair of kicks. But don't stress, you won't need to splash that much cash to get your hands on a pair of BathuXSomizi sneakers: they're priced at R1,800.
They're available at Bathu stores and online at bathu.co.za from February 12.