Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Confessions of a Shoeholic

How many of us struggle when it comes to buying the right footwear? Some statement heels stay in your heart forever but do not make it to your shoe rack as they are not comfortable enough to wear for long hours. If you do happen to own a comfortable pair of footwear then they are not worth flaunting. Women have moved on from their Bata days and look for durability and comfort in a pair of stilettos.

Bengaluru based Veena Ashiya, has the solution with Monrow shoes. Being a heel fanatic herself, Veena who worked with Versace says, “Before starting on this journey my team and I surveyed the market for the complaints Indian women have on their footwear. We realised that Indian women mostly have broad feet, which tends to swell by the end of the day. With no room to expand, this increases the pain and discomfort. We looked into these troubles and came up with footwear that is easy on the foot and pocket.”

When Veena, a NIFT alumni, was working in New York, she noticed most women carried an extra pair of heels to switch to after work for dinners. This concept is alien to the Indian market. “Life here is too chaotic, people are on the move with unplanned events that pop up every now and then. It is a hassle to carry another pair. There are trends that have cropped up in response. For example, athleisure is an amalgamation of active and formal clothing which is both comfortable and presentable. This concept made its way to footwear too. It is like wearing dunks with formal trousers and it works! After all it is soothing to the foot and keeps you on your feet through the day. Our tag line ‘shoes that look good and feel good’ is apt.”

The brand creates the right blend of comfort and style. Veena says, “What makes our footwear stand out is that it is well cushioned and the sole is stitched which makes it durable. Stitching is important as glued products will deteriorate easily when exposed to water. To enhance comfort, the products have more surface area for better support. Also, the fact that the shoes are lightweight scores brownie points for wedge lovers.”

While travelling, most women have to decide, which pair of shoes to carry and which to ditch. Veena has a solution for this as well. “We introduced shoe accessories and attachments that make a simple shoe look stylish. A bow, a mini pom pom or metallic chains raise the style quotient by leaps and bounds. When you are travelling, you can carry a pair of slip ons and several attachments to glam it up when needed.”

Veena made the effort to understand her customer. “I want to reach out to those women who are on the go and with whom I can connect over a passion for heels, wedges and ballet flats. We have collaborated with women who are achievers in different fields. For example, a Bharatnatya dancer whose life revolves around movement. Understanding her requirements is our priority and when such a woman praises my product I feel I have won a battle.”

It is not all about passion, Veena knows it is important to live up to expectations as well. “We have kept our products reasonably priced. It is easily available in Central stores and online on sites such as Jabong and Myntra.
http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/confessions-of-a-shoeholic/article18135155.ece

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