WALKING ON AIR
MEN'S FOLIO Malaysia|December 2020 / January 2021
Men’s Folio checks in with two footwear maestros on their brands – and the restorative power of shoes.
Syazil Abd Rahim

ZAID ARIF, FOUNDER OF ZEVE SHOES

What inspired you to start a footwear line?

Around five years back, I was looking for good, affordable, quality shoes that fit my preference – not too conventional; fancy but not too exaggerated; modern yet classic looking – with a limited budget. I went to malls like Suria KLCC, Pavilion and Mid Valley, and everything that I adored was over my budget. I also found the ones that were within my range but unfortunately, the designs were too basic. So, in order to bridge that gap, my team and I started Zeve Shoes in 2015. Our vision is to put forth a high-quality footwear line that doesn’t only look sophisticated in design but also comfortable – and most importantly, doesn’t break the bank. We started quite small but with the dedication and passion that our team holds, we now have clients that come from over 40 countries.

How would you describe your design?

Modern, manly and classy.

For a brand that values design and craft, was it difficult to find the right partners to make it scalable whilst preserving quality?

We had a tough situation back then in finding compassionate and negotiable production partners because our order quantities were below their expectations. Nothing comes easy and we are really grateful to manage to find our ways. Now, we’ve been receiving emails from factories all over the world that want to work with us, and it’s a privilege for us as well to have the chance to work with different partners from time to time.

How do you want people to feel when they wear a pair of Zeve Shoes?

I want them to feel the best version of themselves or should I say, “like a boss”. I also want them to know that nothing could go wrong when they put on our shoes.

In your opinion, why do you think footwear plays an important role in a wardrobe?

Shoes can either complement or ruin the entire outfit. They are as important as other pieces that you put on your body, and should never be the last thought you have for an outfit. You can be wearing the most expensive and stylish clothes but if your shoes don’t match you would either look inappropriately dull or overdressed.

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