It's another cold winter day in Brooklyn. It's to be expected, but this one is particularly cold. My subject today is originally from Nigeria, and I wonder how much he might miss that hot West African sun. I've never been to Nigeria, and even I miss it on cold NYC days. I recently figured out it's possible to miss somewhere you've never been.
Dami Adepoju has been reshaping footwear for the past several years, slowly but surely, inspired by his love of high art and hiphop, and the final product he puts out shows both worlds work in harmony. In 2019, Hypebeast ran a piece on Dami's unique work, cementing Fini as a "must cop" in sneakerhead circles.
The art of customization in progress. Fini's come with detachable elements that change the silo and aesthetic of each shoe, allowing the wearing to express their individuality with every step.
Fini Shoes, his company, has put the power of customization firmly in the hands of its wearer with every piece, and Dami himself, inspired by his youth in Nigeria consuming American pop culture and pop art, wouldn't have it any other way.
Fini has been slowly upticking in all the right circles in NYC since 2018 or so, with pro athletes, trendsetters and street style mavens all seen rocking Fini's kicks.
Global fashion icon and Spanish pro soccer star Hector Bellerin in Fini low tops in 2020.
The brand debuted with a fervor to introduce a luxury aesthetic while also allowing customers to express their individuality via detachable pieces, something no other footwear designer has fully wrapped up in its ethos, only choosing to instead deploy the "custom" parts at special pop ups or one-off events.
Fini Shoes is a lifestyle shoe engineered and designed for maximum comfort and durability without forgoing the luxury aesthetic. It’s an innovative multidimensional shoe that is eco-made, with care for the planet and sustainability sharing the high seat in equal measure with premium materials & art.
I chopped it up with the man behind Fini who, despite all his successes of late, is still a humble, creative-ass Nigerian immigrant who crossed the pond with a dream.
AX: We all know how closely related the sneakerhead and collectible/art and gallery worlds are naturally, but you've REALLY embraced art almost equal to the actual footwear part. I think I'm really intrigued by them, about how you've really embraced the art world with your work...was the the mission?
DA: Fini Shoes was born out of the urge to feel a void in the "versatile shoe space." At that point versatile or like "customer custom" shoes wasn't a thing. As the concept develops, we realized it also provided an opportunity for people to be creative with their footwear. Since then we have tried to embrace creativity as a pillar for the brand and its products because we see shoes as a way people can express themselves. The shoes industry as a whole is now embracing creativity by working more with creative people and its translating through to products.
LA-based pop artist Tiffany Nguyen in her studio starting to design the world her custom Fini "Tyfini Bold" classic lows.
AX: So what is your personal story about...and how did your personal history sort of develop what Fini would later become?
AX: Where did the concept for Fini come from? And why that name? At first I thought it was an Italian reference - as in "done" or "finished" but that didn't seem appropriate for a young line that's actually buzzing in NYC.
DA: The concept of the shoe came from traveling, but the concept of the name Fini came from an iteration of my grandma's name. My mom has always been a business owner and all her businesses have been a form of my and my siblings name. I wanted to do the same and name the business something daring, and respectful to my family. I named it after My grandma's nickname was Áriséfini which is a word in a Yoruba dialect.
The "Tyfani Bold" classic lows being put together by a Fini employee. Click the image to discover the final product now available.
AX: So picking your favorite kick is like picking your favorite child. I get it bro, but if you absolutely HAD to, which kick would it be and why?
DA: Its the Travis Scott Jordan 1 for me.
AX: So I do know you're Nigerian. If you had to design a Super Eagles boot, what would you do with it? Go crazy. Cuz watch how I actually make this happen for us.
DA: Haha I have thought about this many times! I would also like to design a colorway for Fini shoes in the future inspired by my Nigerian heritage. To answer your question I will take inspiration from everything a Nigerian prides him/herself with, national flag, and the 1996 Nigeria soccer olympic gold medal winning side.