TSKENYA is a new footwear brand that rejects gender divides in their marketing.
Originally launched as a Kickstarter campaign on 1 November, 2017, the company specializes in niche sizes (8-13 UK, 10-15 US). In order to support LGBTI people, TSKENYA doesn’t gender their products.
‘TSKENYA is named after Tskenya-Sarah Frazer, founder and designer of the brand, who found it difficult finding larger sized shoes growing up,’ the company states on their site.
‘The lack of stylish and affordable footwear affected her confidence during adolescence, often having to opt for clunky “boys shoes.” Due to these personal experiences and activism with the LGBTQ+ community at university she decided to start TSKENYA as a brand “for all to wear with confidence” built on the ethos that “intersectionality makes us stronger.”’
The brand has been endorsed by trans activist Charlie Craggs and queer poet Travis Alabanza. Both Craggs and Alavanza are featured in the brand’s latest campaign.
In addition to being supportive of those in the LGBTI community, the brand also rejects modern-day slave labor by making all of their suppliers and manufacturers sign a specific code of conduct.
In the founder’s own words
‘For as long as I can remember I have felt marginalised by the high street, as finding larger sized shoes was virtually impossible. Even when I could find shoes they were horrible looking and overpriced – ridiculous,’ Frazer writes on the site.
‘Not being able to find shoes was a contributing factor to my lack of confidence growing up and really damaged my self-esteem. I spent a lot of my adolescence feeling ashamed of myself and scared that someone would point out my feet. Silly, but it was a reality, as every time I went to buy shoes I was reminded that I didn’t fit into the stereotypical conventions of idealistic western beauty. Luckily, through soul searching and working on this brand I hope to come to terms with all my marginalities and support my big footed stylish siblings with fierce determination and sassiness.’
‘We’re a brand of intersectionality and gender fluidity. We break the rules. We aren’t just passionate about style, we’re also passionate about giving back to the community and will regularly pledge selected profits to charities that support our LGBTQ+ siblings, those who have suffered from bullying and domestic violence.’
I have got 24hrs to go untill my Kickstarter ends for @OfficialTskenya and all I want is for @RuPaul to join me as a business partner. Ru, you would love the shoes 💗💗💗💗 Sizes 8-13UK (10-15US) – made for us xoxo pic.twitter.com/AIChGUGMUf
— Tsk. (@tskenyasarah) December 2, 2017
Learn more about the amazing brand and its founder in the videos below: