Shem Ezemma of Shem Paronelli and his team of craftsmen have been making shoes that challenge conventional proportions since 2011.
To create his footwear, which are all 100% handmade, Shem uses Cow suede, exotic Python, Crocodile, and Ostrich skins, producing pairs that articulate concepts of opposites; minimalism and sophistication, quirkiness and glamour, masculinity and feminity, and ‘the old world’ and modern.
Recently, he partnered in a project with Nigerian fashion brand Orange Culture, crafting the stories of the two young designers in a series of metallic sandals. Over the past two years, he has also worked non-stop on collaborations with local fashion brands such as Lisa Folawiyo, Kenneth Ize, and Maki Oh.
Beauty and the process of articulating it is a very serious thing for Shem, and the current economic state in Nigeria marks the perfect time for a “Made in Nigeria” product that is of high quality and values. Applying his head, hands, and the influences of American minimalist architect Tory smith, Shem merges tradition and modernity to handcraft what he defines as the purest and the highest form of luxury.
In semi-pitch darkness, Shem Ezemma of Shem Paronelli introduces his first private collection to a small but diverse crowd of Lagos’ creative community. The evolution of hooves, a shoe collection of over 15 different pairs is displayed on wooden platforms in the patio at Stranger, concealed by a transparent sliding glass allowing viewers to admire the artistry from a distance before walking in to interact with fine leather and beautifully crafted footwear.
Though Shem works in IT, he is heavily influenced by architecture, a fact so evident in the altered angle of his block heels or the general shape of his shoes. In this collection, the designer explores leather, wood and animal skin, along with accessories made of Cow bone.
One of Stranger’s co-founders, Yegwa Ukpo had short conversation with the designer, Shem, about his collection and influences on our blog. http://www.strangerlagos.com/a-conversation-with-shem-of-shem-paronelli-studios/
The installation holds from the 13th to 18th of March.