Our interview with talented and stylish designer BELIENI.
Seeking to bridge the gap between luxury and fashion, the sophisticated BELIENI brand raises the standard for sneakers by constructing a shoe with subtle and exquisite styling fit for individuals who yearn for upscale footwear without sacrificing classic design. Launching the brand in his own name, Belieni saw his dreams come to fruition in his initial creation for the brand.
Originally from D.C., and a born craftsman with an inherent knack for drawing and design, Belieni began designing at a young age. Childhood drawings fueled his aspiration, and Belieni would eventually attain degrees in graphic design, industrial design, and fashion.
Hi BELIENI, please tell us a little about you?
Well, I was born and raised in S.E. DC. I played football throughout Jr. High and High School. Art is something that I have always been fascinated by, it’s so inspiring. As far back as I can remember I have been drawing and creating things with my hands, I am a huge sneaker and petrol head. I joined the military shortly after college then did private contracting for a while.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Passionate, Ambitious
What’s your background?
Liberian and American
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My biggest influence has been my mother as cliché as that sounds, she sacrificed a lot for me and my sister.
How and when did you start into fashion?
My official step into fashion started when I decided to launch my name sake shoe company.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
My biggest highlight thus far, would have to be holding and putting on my shoe that I designed for the first time; it really blew me away.
Now tell us about your fashionable collection, BELIENI footwear, and where we can get them?
My current Calibre line, was specifically designed to be a very unique, subtle, and clean collection. The brand in a whole follows that same frame work, as we grow our customers will see these design principles in my future collections. Right now, the only place to buy a pair of BELIENI shoes is through the web page.
What part of your job do you find the most challenging?
Social media haha…It is a very demanding and unforgiving, a 12-12 responsibility. I will admit I am not the go online everyday guy, but I do understand and respect its reach and usefulness.
How often are you bringing new designs into your collection?
We only recently launched in June of last year, but in a perfect world I would like to unveil a new design every Spring.
Now tell us about the CalibreV1?
The CalibreV1 isn’t just your average luxury sneaker. With its hidden laces, alligator style watch strap, quilted sides, and contrast stretching; it was made to set the wearer apart from the masses. The Calibre was designed to be a very luxurious but subtle shoe that could be dressed up or down. The V1 is there to show customers that I will continue to perfect my designs.
What is different of your footwear brand than other footwear shoes in the market?
Well BELIENI never set out to be like any other shoe on the market. I set out to merge the watch and luxury shoe industry through my Calibre line. I wanted to give people something different, something that provokes a feeling. You will find subtle detailing, fine craftsman ship and quality in every shoe. I personally sketch and design every shoe and collection that is released. All of our shoes and leathers are sourced and hand made in Italy. Customers can always expect something unique and exciting from BELIENI.
Can you name any celebrities that are big fans of your brand?
I honestly do not know if I have any celebrities who are big fans. I would hope as BELIENI continues to grow as a brand, we gain a few loyal celebrity fans.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
It would be my grandparents; I have heard about them all my life but never got a chance to meet them before they passed due to the war in Liberia at the time. My mother always talked highly of them and how similar I am to my grandfather.
Name one your strengths?
It would be my ability to accomplish whatever I set my mind on.
How do you spend your spare time?
Gym, riding my motorcycle, sketching and watching Blue Planet.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
I see myself running a global brand power house and BELIENI becoming a house hold name.
What is your favorite food?
Mac and Cheese hands down.
What music do you like?
I think that I am very versatile when it comes to my music. I like Go-Go, Dubstep, Heavy Metal, Dancehall / Soca, Hip-Hop and R&B of course.
Do you support any charity?
I don’t have a specific one, but I tend to support whichever one I feel speaks to me at the time.
A perfect Sunday is…?
Everything but the cherry….haha. An overcast day, on a mountain or country road with curves that would put most women to shame, with no speed limit or cops for miles.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Car keys, Cell phone, Common sense.
What do you think of Social Media?
It is very useful if you are an entrepreneur or business owner but demanding.