It’s lucky Wale Nubi wore the same shoe size as his older brothers because, when he was
a teenager growing up in Nigeria, they would send him their cast-off designer shoes from London, kick-starting his love of fashion. He was an IT consultant for Fortune 500 companies, selling shoes from the trunk of his car as his side hustle, when the timing was finally right to open his Hyde Park store, Jojayden, in 2016.
Wale had done his homework, researching European shoe manufacturing processes before opening the store, named in honor of his two sons, Josiah and Jayden. He began with custom shoes, offering customers 40 different options including the material (calfskin, suede, patent leather, crocodile, or fabric), the toe style, and the type of sole (commando, wedge, rubber, or three types of leather). Jojayden custom shoes can take six to eight weeks to create, but are often finished sooner.
Clothing was always part of Wale’s business plan,
and he offers custom-designed shirts, suits, tuxedos, and topcoats, which have steadily been building a strong following with style-conscious men in Chicago and throughout the country. The prom and spring/ summer wedding season was especially busy this year, and Wale estimates he designed over one hundred suits and tuxedos.
But Jojayden is not just about higher-end clothing. Recognizing that men don’t wear custom suits or tuxedos every day, Wale is developing his own line of stylish ready-to-wear wardrobe basics – t-shirts, dress shirts, trousers, sweaters, boxers, socks, and more.
He hopes to launch the line later this year. There are future plans for a Jojayden subscription-based model, with curated clothing/accessories selections sent monthly to members.
Wale was introduced to the neighborhood by his friend
things that I can incorporate in the store to keep improving on my business model.”
Jojayden is one of the seven local stops on the upcoming “South Side I Do” Hyde Park Wedding Stroll on Sunday, September 9, from 12-4 p.m. Tickets are available at www.southsideido.com with all proceeds going to the not-for-profit organization, Wish Upon A Wedding. Couples can meet with 30+ wedding-related venues and vendors during the event, ending at The Promontory with a live band, cash bar, and light bites.
For attendees of the stroll, Jojayden is offering a special package for the groom and groomsmen, with a wedding day stylist sent to the groom’s hotel to style all the members of the wedding with custom tuxedos and shirts, trousers, bowties, socks, shoes – down to the cufflinks. “A bride usually has fashion stylists and hair/makeup artists on the day of the wedding, so why shouldn’t the groom? I see men spending more time than ever before choosing their wedding wardrobe, and Jojayden is the perfect resource,” said Wale. He also partners with tuxedo rental houses, and can
work with men to elevate the style of an off-the-rack rental with his custom bowties, cufflinks, and other accessories.
1457 E. 53rd Street