DHL Express‘ latest fashion partnership is with South African shoe company Veldskoen on a campaign dubbed “Dear Everyone.”
Over the past few years, the mega express logistics provider’s brand collaborations resulted in a Vetements DHL T-shirt that made a debut on a Paris catwalk followed by a joint offering with mybudapester.com to produce a limited-edition sneaker to commemorate DHL’s 50th anniversary.
“For decades, we have made designers and fashion labels more successful worldwide, by creating tailor-made shipping solutions and using our unique logistics network to connect them with a greater, global audience,” said Megan Collinicos, vice president of marketing at DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, said. “Following our successful fashion collaborations across Europe, North America and Asia, we wanted to find an African brand for our next exciting collaboration.”
Collinicos said Veldskoen created a modern take on an iconic South African shoe by adding a pop of color to the soles and laces, noting that the brand has built up “an impressive customer base across the globe” since it launched in 2016.
“And we’ve been working with the team at Veldskoen over the past few months to reinvent the traditional veldskoen yet again,” Collinicos said.
Veldskoen CEO Nick Dreyer said when DHL approached the company with an idea to collaborate on a limited edition shoe to highlight South African fashion, “it was a no-brainer for us.”
“Their previous fashion projects really pushed the boundaries with some unexpected pairings, so being selected as the first African brand for the next collaboration was super exciting,” Dreyer said. “There were instant synergies between our two brands, the most obvious one being the desire to make a difference in the communities in which we operate.”
Each pair of DHL x Veldskoen “Dear Everyone” shoes goes through a process that sees 66 pairs of hands handcrafting the shoe in Durban, South Africa. Local South African artist Reggie Khumalo designed a mural for the side panels of the shoe, incorporating the campaign messaging, as well as subtle South African references within the design.
Collinicos said the DHL x Veldskoen campaign evolved dramatically with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic because it presented the opportunity to share a purpose-driven message with the world.
“The impact of the pandemic has shown that while we are not all the same, we are all of the same,” she said. “We wanted to create something that celebrates ‘Everyone’ and ‘every one.’”
Dreyer said that DHL “has afforded Veldskoen a moment to show the globe the talent, creativity and manufacturing ability that Africa has to offer.”
“We have produced a high fashion shoe, while every stage of the development process and every link in the supply chain has been carefully considered from a sustainability point of view,” he added.
The companies noted that 365 pairs of bespoke, handmade DHL x Veldskoen Dear Everyone shoes will be produced and sold via a shoe drop lottery system.
Since the inception of its online shoe shop in 2016, Veldskoen has expanded into a global brand stocked by chain and independent retailers in 32 countries. The DHL x Veldskoen campaign is the catalyst for the company to create an ongoing program of collaborations and incubations to stimulate and support the fashion industry in Africa.