A Birmingham entrepreneur who turned a childhood passion into a business is celebrating the launch of his brand of designer training shoes.
Hilton Mutariswa grew up in Zimbabwe helping his parents in their leather factory where they made high quality bags and shoes. Fast forward 20 years and Hilton, who has now made Birmingham his home, is designing his own high end brand of shoes entitled Billione Rikko.
He has come a long way from the days when he used to day dream about running his own brand as he helped his parents on a part time basis for school in return for some pocket money.
His first ever range of designer trainers recently went into production in Italy and the shoes. – made of the finest materials including luxury leathers, ostrich or Python skin and are already proving a huge hit with fashionistas.
And it will come as no surprise to learn that among those snapping up the first limited edition batch of the shoes – which come in white, red or black – are celebrities and sports stars.
The very first two pairs were gifted to Floyd Mayweather by Hilton who personally handed them over to the world boxing champ during his recent visit to Birmingham. One pair was specifically encrusted with swaroski crystals while another black pair was also bespoke and hand painted with the star’s portrait.
Footballers including England and Bournemouth star Jermaine Defoe and Derby County’s Darren Bent are among those lined up to receive one of the first orders while former Wolves’ defender Scott Golbourne – now with Bristol City – has already got his pair and recently took to Instagram to show them off.
Hilton who now employs a handful of staff said the shoes was the start of a dream career he first envisaged as a child.
He said: “From a young age I always dreamed of having my own brand. I worked for my parents fantasising about one day having my own store selling shoes I had designed. I visualised these shoes going on to be sold throughout the world.”
“Now my dream is finally coming true with the first 50 pairs of shoes in stock. Over the next couple of years my goal is to see Billione Rikko stocked in high end stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Within five years I envision having my own store in London – that is my goal.
“Longer term I dream of seeing Billione Rikko stores in some of the fashion capitals of the world – Dubai, Milan and Sandton – the richest region in South Africa. That is my dream – who knows how long that will take maybe five years, maybe ten – perhaps sooner I can only hope.”
Hilton added that the shoes were designed to reflect fashion, style and luxury featuring a global ethos.
“They are made in Italy, African inspired, designed with French flair and feature London attitude. Now they are being sold here in Birmingham – a city that has been my home since 2009. I am so excited about the future.
“The message here to entrepreneurs or people starting out in business really is follow your dreams. There may be hurdles among the way but stick with it. I’m so glad I have.”