True to its name, where “Nappa” means leather and “Dori” is thread, the Nappa Dori brand has consistently added handmade leather products to its portfolio, which includes handbags, trunks and even bespoke umbrellas. The latest collection of handcrafted shoes for women, launched at the multi-designer store Ogaan in Delhi, therefore comes as little surprise.
But a look at the collection that packs in a limited edition of shoes, and you realise these aren’t the usual high heels and platforms one associates women’s footwear with. Instead, on offer are brogues, oxfords, moccasins and ballerinas, each available in three different colours. Subtle sophistication is the hallmark of the collection and it is completely in sync with the overall design aesthetic and artisanal nature of Nappa Dori.
“We have always believed in simple and usable design, which is not ostentatious, predictable or cliched,” says the brand’s founder and owner Gautam Sinha.
The shoes, made by skilled craftsmen, are supported by a wooden heel and genuine leather soles embossed with small details. The inside is lined with the fine, handwoven ikat fabric, reminiscent of the ikat satchels that the label is popular for. When it came to choosing the styles of shoes, Sinha says he drew inspiration from the customers that use his products. “The designs are edgy, even masculine, but are reflective of the tastes of our clients,” he explains.
Interestingly, the idea to include leather shoes, says Sinha, is part of a larger plan to take Nappa Dori forward as a lifestyle brand. “We have slowly carved a space for ourselves and are keen to add more products with leather as the common element,” says Sinha, a graduate in Fashion Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). While men’s footwear is in the pipeline, Sinha is also looking to focus on stationery that will include leather accessories such as pencil cases, notebooks and folders.
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“We feel there is a huge market for it, especially when it comes to leather,” says Sinha, who has consciously stayed away from e-commerce tie-ups despite the rising demand for his products. “We have now strengthened our online presence with a dedicated website. I feel that our products, which are rooted in Indianess but have their own space, need to be marketed on our own website,” says Sinha.
The collection is priced at Rs 6,800 onwards
This story appeared in print under the headline: Best Foot Forward