JAM | May 22, 2023

Mathieu Vaughan: Leaving a Jamaican footprint in the world of premium footwear

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Local premium footwear brand Kingston Cordwainers Atelier (KCA) started as far more than a cobbler’s day trade.

KCA founder, Mathieu Vaughan is a visionary craftsman passionate about footwear, since childhood.

Born and raised in Kingston, Vaughan’s fascination with shoes developed as a teenager as he started to play basketball. He became captivated with shoemaking after he discovered how much footwear could enhance his performance and comfort, sparking his curiosity about shoes.

Mathieu Vaughan founder of Kingston Cordwainers Atelier (KCA). (Photo: Contributed)

This newfound passion compelled him to take every step he could to fully understand the craft and thus he embarked on his six-year-long journey to learn.

He went on to complete his studies in Industrial and Product Design at the Savannah College of Arts and Design in the United States, with a focus on footwear and minor accessories.

After returning home to Jamaica, Vaughan saw the potential for expansion beyond the sandals manufacturers already in the market. He envisioned a line of footwear that combined elegance, comfort, and Jamaican culture.

The Heko

In 2022 he launch KCA with their flagship creation, the Heko, derives its name from a fusion of the words for “first” in both Taino and Ashante languages, symbolizing part of the history behind the Jamaican identity.

Currently, KCA offers two models: the Heko sneaker and the Heko sneaker boot, each meticulously crafted by hand using imported premium leather and classical techniques such as Blake stitching hand lasting and wet moulding, sets his footwear apart from mass-produced alternatives.

Priced at $300 per pair for all sizes, KCA’s footwear represents a fusion of art, heritage, and comfort.

The Heko

Vaughan invites customers to fill out an order form available via email at [email protected] or through the brand’s Instagram account @kcafootwear.

Customers can select their desired details, such as color schemes and materials, tailoring each pair to their unique preferences.

All orders take 14 working days and require a 50% deposit non-refundable after two days.


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