Rufaro Junior Clint is a young British model who is also a graphic designer and, until recently, a shoe designer. Clint’s brand of shoes was already making waves in the shoe business when he was 21.
It all began when he was in his second year of business school in Manchester and decided to take a year off. Then he started looking at online tutorials, which led him to design. Clint liked clothes before, but now he was learning how they worked.
He kept watching more and more videos because one thing led to another. Clint also read a book by Phill Knight, the founder of Nike, called Shoe Dog. He said that the book helped him understand how to build and create a brand.
“It told me what the ups and downs would be like, and after I read it, I thought I could do it. Seeing the person behind the Nike brand was so interesting to me, and it made me think it was possible to build something from the ground up. I started making clothes and shoes right away. The first few were nice to look at, but they didn’t work. He told the network, “I started looking for ways to improve the quality so that people could wear them.”
Clint says that Virgil Abloh has been his biggest source of inspiration. He says that Abloh showed him all the different parts of a shoe, which made him think about the process in a new way. He told Versus, “For example, by just calling the laces “shoelaces” and making the stitching on the Nike swoosh stand out with a zigzag pattern.”
Clint made his first pair of shoes with a company in Europe called Novesta. His first pair of shoes came out in 2020, and they sold out quickly. Since then, he’s taken steps that have turned his brand into more than just a normal shoe line. People are interested in his designs because his brand has gone viral.
Clint wants more attention to be paid to Black creatives, even though his video went viral and was called the next big thing in the fashion industry. In this way, he started the “Inspire Change” project to give Black creators more attention and money.
“There aren’t enough BAME designers in the shoe business,” he said in an Instagram post. “One of the hardest things for me to do when I was just starting was to find Black independent shoe designers I could look to for ideas. So, I’m starting the “Inspire Change Initiative” to try to get my coworkers involved and give them the tools they need to make their shoe designs from scratch.
Clint told young designers that because the future is unknown, they should try to come up with new ideas and ask the right questions.
“Recently, I’ve learned that no one knows what they’re doing and that the future is unpredictable, so the most important thing is to bring new ideas to the table and ask the right questions to reach your goals.”