What Gandhi, Karl Lagerfeld and Cinderella Have in Common

Kohlapuris in a Mumbai Train Station. Image courtesy of Wearabout.wordpress.com

 

There are shoes. And then there are Shoes.

Iconic footwear representing something bigger than fashion. A cultural stamp of India so strong that everyone from Gandhi to Karl Lagerfeld has turned to it.

The Kolhapuri Chappal.

It’s the original high-low fashion item. Worn with shorts, yoga pants, a sari, a gown, jeans, a caftan, a bikini (you get the idea). it’s the one item that transcends fashion dicta – while making a powerful cultural statement.

No wonder Mr Lagerfeld and countless European designers have embraced “The Shoe”. No other traditional Indian item has made more appearances on the European runways than this casual footwear. It’s been featured in practically every Spring/Summer collection for this year according to GQ.

Besides being uber comfortable, supremely stylish and culturally iconic, here’s what you need to know about the Kolhapuri.

1. They are traditionally made in Kolhapur in the state of Mahashtra India.

2. Kolhapuris are made out of grazed leather making them durable for daily wear.

3. Not a single iron nail is used in the entire manufacturing process. The sole and the upper body of the chappals are joined together by stitches which are done with a leather cord. (Making them essentially allergenic free).

4. In a world of factory automation – these are handmade leather shoes still made by craftsmen. Quite something to behold.

5. They’re just plain super-fly footgear.

*6. You can get your pair here!

Cinderella knew a thing or two about the power of the right “slipper”. What she didn’t know is you don’t need a prince to save you.

Kolhapuris in a Mumbai Train Station. Image courtesy of Wearabout.wordpress.com

 

 

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