Did Gafa Sandals rip off Loza Maleombho?

As a site that supports and promotes original design, we feel obligated to ask the pertinent questions when we see similarities between brands that go beyond imitation and enter the murky waters of outright copying.

Emerging accessories label Gafa Sandals has gained some serious ground in the Nigerian sandal market because of their clean finish and vibrant colours. Several high profile bloggers have already endorsed Gafa Sandals and it has become really popular. This is why we feel we need to ask if the brand is playing by the rules.

Enter Loza Maleombho, the eponymous fashion label renowned across the world for its creative director’s deftness with marrying counter cultures and translating abstract African mythology and spiritualism into eccentric and accessible clothing. Maleombho is known just as much for it’s distinctive accessories as it is known for clothing.

One of it’s biggest accessory successes is the Marcana Sandals, released as part of its Spring 2013 collection.

Loza Maleombho Loza A

This design, with it’s distinctive, cross straps with ties on the shin and a detached basket weave is so popular that it is still in stock on the designer’s website and across the designer’s social media.


#fbf #LMLMSandals

A photo posted by Loza Maléombho (@lozamaleombho) on

Gafa Sandals has a design identical to the Marcana sandals, right down the ties that close on the shin and the detached basket weave for the toes and foot.

White gladiators available in size 39 #buynaijatogrowthenaira

A photo posted by GAFAFOOTWEAR (@gafasandals) on

The similarities are a little too close for comfort.

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The online destination and fashion journal that goes beyond the surface and taps the pulse on all things FASHION. First out of Nigeria and increasingly across the continent, with wit, intelligence and humour.


TSS is an arm of the RED brand, which is the continent's largest omni-media group focused on Africa's youth.