The French-Caribbean island of Martinique has a rich and diverse history that mixes traditional African practices with newer French ideals. Created by Willem Germany, T.I.N.A.S. (otherwise known as This is Not a Shoe) are a new form of atypical shoes that hail from traditional artisan roots. Their designs are based on ancient craftsmanship made in the 13th century from local materials like hemp and flax. Today, these rope-soled espadrilles are created with the same age-old techniques to produce shoes with modern and vibrant materials. Quickly becoming the it shoe on the island, T.I.N.A.S. is taking the Martinique fashion scene by storm, bringing back classic prints such as the colorful Madras plaid in a contemporary design.
T.I.N.A.S. brings tradition back to a new generation of the Martiniquais youth, who can be proud to wear shoes that are conceived in Martinique and made with local materials. Since their launch in 2014, they have been seen all over France, and are credited for helping to popularize Martinique and Creole craftsmanship. Made by hand, T.I.N.A.S. is not currently sold online because their stock is created for limited edition production, but their espadrilles are currently sold in a variety of hotels in Martinique, St. Martin, St. Lucia, Antigua, as well as in cities like London and Berlin. The future is limitless for T.I.N.A.S: they currently have plans to expand their sales to hotels in Guadeloupe and Guyana, sending shipments to Dubai and Tokyo, and are negotiating to be sold in international airports as well.
Immensely proud of Martinique, it has been Willem Germany’s main prerogative to help share his island with the world through the creation of these shoes and through his work. He also founded Excuse My Kreyol, an alternative communications agency that organizes events including the Sunday Caribbean Gospel Brunch, which celebrates musical and culinary tradition on the island. Willem Germany was also the obvious choice to be one of the new faces of the Martinique Tourism Committee’s campaign as a ‘builder of paradise 2015.’ Over the last year and a half, it is thanks to his immense optimism that he is showing local French-Caribbean talent around the world, visiting a wide variety of trade and fashion shows to help promote T.I.N.A.S. and Martinique as a whole on the international level.
For more information on T.I.N.A.S. and Willem Germany, visit thisisnotashoe.com