Meet the Designer
Born and raised in Nigeria, Aderinola Ojengbede was inspired to create the INOLA OJÉN brand because of her inability to find a variety of shoes and styles in her size of EU 43. She outgrew shoes quickly quickly during her teenage years. She had to learn to shop in the men's shoe department sometimes developing a keen eye to scoring shoes that would work well with her outfits.
She clearly remembers a day in university when a professor made a comment about her pair of loafers fitting well in his wardrobe. When she arrived in the United States for her post graduate studies, she naively thought her search for shoes will be over. That was not the case.
After many years of emailing buyers and sales assistants of luxury footwear brands without a positive response, the idea of creating a brand to cater to women with larger feet was born in 2015.
A 6 years journey of creating and developing her signature heel, looking for factories in Italy that could interprete her vision with excellent craftsmanship culminated in an online launch of INOLA OJÉN in the summer of 2021.
INOLA OJÉN is not only an ode to her love for quality, beautiful footwear but more importantly, the brand embodies elements of her African heritage. Pulling on knowledge from her medical career and several footwear design courses, Aderinola designed and developed a signature heel inspired by the talking drum (Ilu Gangan). The talking drum is an age-old communication device common to many tribes across West Africa. Today, it serves more as an instrument of celebration, cultural expression and musical percussion in Juju, Fuji and other Afrobeats. The Signature Talking Drum Heel is a symbol of and rhythm of personal expression.
The INOLA OJÉN woman stands tall with a depiction of this sacred instrument on her feet.