African Footwear Brand soleRebels Launches First US Flagship Store

Sandra Appiah October 15, 2014

unnamedAfrica’s top entrepreneur and 2014 FACE List Awards Honoree Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu brings her version of CREATIVE DISRUPTION to the US fashion footwear market, planting first US location of the fastest growing African footwear brand at the epicenter of creative disruption: Silicon Valley.

soleRebels celebrates quest to let the world WALK NAKED® by opening 1st US store in Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, CA., one of the hottest malls in the US!

The launch expands global store rollout, bringing total to 18 soleRebels branded stand alone retail stores that have opened worldwide.The company projects 50 stand alone soleRebels stores across the USA by 2018, and 500 worldwide by 2022.

soleRebels is the planet’s 1st and ONLY WFTO FAIR TRADE footwear company, the fastest growing consumer brand from Africa and the 1st African consumer brand to ever open stand alone branded retail stores around the globe.

soleRebels was founded in 2005 by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, a kick*#$$ entrepreneur who FAST COMPANY Magazine named as “One of The Most Creative People in Business”.

“I am totally vibed to open our 1st US soleRebels store in Silicon Valley. We have waited a while to open our first US store because we wanted to find the perfect place to open our 1st US location – a place that epitomized the creativity, innovation, craziness, disruption and the overall WALK NAKED ethos that soleRebels is all about. Silicon Valley is the epicenter of all these things and so it’s the perfect place to launch our US retail store business,” stated Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, soleRebels founder & CEO.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Westfield Valley Fair showcases a unique lineup of international luxury retailers and iconic global brands with over 270 stores and restaurants. Westfield Valley Fair is located in San Jose, CA at 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. soleRebels is located on the 2nd floor in Space B170 close to Men’s Macy’s and Sports Authority and adjacent to Pizza My Heart .

The 1270 square foot store brings to life soleRebel’s awesome walkNAKED® brand vibe . At the exterior entrance to the store, fans of the brand are immediately greeted by a fully tagged out EXTERIOR COVERED with GROUND to sky with soleRebels brand signage!


Once inside, an array of merchandising allow people to jump inside the brands walkNAKED® spirit while also highlighting the brands unique, colorful and cool artisan heritages ! The store features over 800 unique soleRebels sandals, slipOn and laceUP styles. With price points ranging from $50 USD to $95 USD, the products represent amazing value .

The soleRebels store also features :

  • Gorgeous hand-crafted full walk around displays made from repurposed wood that showcase the footwear in an awesome AFRICAN – ZEN surf look and feel.
  • The hanging sandal section is highlighted by soleRebel’s revolutionary sandal and shoe hangars which are 100% crafted from leftover production materials , providing another layer of color and texture . Covered in the company’s signature super cool and colorful hand loomed fabrics, the hangars are a visual nod to soleRebels’ focus on creating true waste free production while finding creative uses for all production leftovers.
  • A customSOLE offer that allows customers to customize ANY soleRebel style they see in the exact colors of their choice. soleRebels artisans in addis ababa will custom craft their shoes according to those specific choices and deliver them within 48 hours.
  •   A full soleRebels’ kids section that offers every single one of soleRebels in kids sizes.
  • A soleRebels signature tire stools – made from recycled car and truck tires these amazing stools are covered in soleRebels color*FULL famed hand loomed fabrics. They are a great place for customers to try on their soleRebels or to just chill and soak in the vibes of the store.
  • A dedicated b*knd section featuring footwear products created + crafted for vegans, veggies + everyone who cares deeply about what they wear and who doesn’t want any animal related products making up their footwear.
  • A walkNAKED® lounge that lets customers come and chill while enjoying multi-media and merchandising that highlights the company’s heritage , unique artisan production techniques and footwear . the lounge also encourages customers to upload in photos of them wearing their soleRebels shoes to the soleRebels website and rewards them for doing so with a free soleRebels walkNAKED tee.
  • Your soleRebels style now + always: Unlike any other footwear brand on the planet , soleRebels keeps ALL STYLES THAT THEY HAVE EVER created open + available for purchase on its website. All soleRebels stores have an online kiosk that lets customers go online on the soleRebels website and order from any of the over 4000 [and growing] unique soleRebels styles they see. soleRebels maintains these styles because we know that for people style is a personal issue and that should not be dictated by seasonal changes. soleRebels believes that its customers know best what they want and gives them the freedom to ALWAYS find any soleRebels that has ever been created.


All products sold via every soleRebels outlet are covered by soleRebels unique happySOLES guarantee. The guarantee is groundbreaking for the footwear industry and guarantees 100% customer satisfaction by promising to replace any shoe bought from soleRebels NO QUESTIONS ASKED UNTIL the customer is 100% SATISFIED! The happySOLES guarantee also guarantees ANY soleRebel shoe no matter where a customer bought it from the life of the sole. if anything on the shoe goes wrong BEFORE the sole has worn through, soleRebels will replace the pair for free no questions asked!

soleRebels is in the midst of a massive global retail rollout , occurring both via company owned and licensed stores. This retail expansion is forecast to open over 150 stores globally and generate over $ 250 million USD in REVENUES BY 2018/19 , and over 500 global stores and $1 billion in revenues by 2022!

This new soleRebels store expands the company’s global retail store rollout. soleRebels has stores located worldwide including its flagship store in Addis Ababa and additional locations in Barcelona, Nyon Switzerland, Vienna, Kaoshing, Ping Tung City, TaiChung, Tainan, Singapore and Japan. The opening continues the historic push soleRebels is making as the very first African consumer brand to ever open its own stand-alone branded retail locations in the US.

The company feels strongly that people all over the planet want comfy, stylish and totally unique value priced footwear that has a unique point of view . As company founder Bethlehem puts it : “I imagine there are quite a few folks in and around Silicon Valley who are super pumped to be able to walkNAKED.”

​Experience more about soleRebels here at

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: September 15, 2018


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