- Tell us about you.
My Name is Kunle Coker, I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, but I have a burning passion for designing bespoke shoes that wow whoever wears them and those who see them. Hence one of my favorite quote says ‘Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes’
- How did you learn how to design and make shoes?
I won’t exactly say I learnt how to design shoes, it’s just something that was God given as I had always been interested in arts from my teenage years. I learnt how to make shoes first by re-selling hand made custom shoes and after about a year I decided to seat and learn the entire process from buying materials to building the shoes.
- When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a Men’s Footwear Designer?
I realized I wanted to pursue a career as a men’s footwear designer in 2013 when I managed a brand called Tolu Denim and later on co-founded another infamous brand called MAF. Prior to that, like I mentioned earlier, I was already into buying and selling but I wanted something more unique that I would have control over the production and supply, and the next best thing I could do was making shoes.
- If you weren’t a designer, what career path would you have chosen?
I probably would have pursued a career in Administration because I studied Political Science at Babcock University.
- How did you come up with the name “Mvckentribe”?
The name Mvckentribe, Pronounced:/ Mocking:Tribe was influenced by birds called the Mockingbirds who are best known for mimicking the sound of other birds and sometimes insects. This is the twist to the name Mvckentribe; fashion is an ever-evolving market with not necessarily new things, but refined things popping up in the fashion space every day. The name basically was influenced by the characteristics of the mockingbird, not because we mimic fashion brands, but we give a refined twist to what fashion brands might be missing. The tribe aspect of the name is basically because I see fashion as a tribe. Mvckentribe for me means A REFINED TRIBE.
- Why Men’s Shoes?
We don’t do men shoes alone, but we concentrate more on men’s shoes because that has been the major source of sales over the years.
- Did you have any fears while starting your Footwear line and how did you face them?
The fears are endless, just like all other businesses. I face fears almost every day, not satisfying a customer is a fear, not making sales or meeting specific targets is a fear, the economic crisis and how it affects businesses is a fear. But when I started the business, I had major fears about whether or not the business would thrive in a highly competitive market, but I just had to follow my deepest instinct and just gave myself a little push, and I must say I’m not where I used to be years ago even though I am still doing a lot of learning.
- How have men shoes evolved over the years?
Men’s shoes have evolved a great deal over the years, because we have moved away from the laid back style of shoes and have been able to introduce more casual and artistic styles into men’s shoes. Men’s shoes are no longer as boring as they used to be in years ago.
- What is the most challenging thing about being a designer?
For me, the most challenging thing is having the right team and major financial support.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from many places, the streets, the television, the internet and other designers like, Tom Ford, Superglamorous, T.T.DALK, Etc.
- How do you want men to feel while wearing shoes from Mvckentribe?
I want them to feel like “Royals” when wearing my shoes, that is why I do more of bespoke; tailored to their tastes and specification.
- Do you follow trends much as a person and a designer?
Yes I do and someday I hope to be a trend setter like Versace and Gucci. Won’t it be rather uncanny if I don’t follow the trend and call myself a designer?
- How would you define your style?
With two words, ‘Chic’ and ‘Refined’
- What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means a manner of doing something, a tradition and definitely a Tribe.