Gender-neutral clothing has become accessible over the years, thanks to the Indian designers and brands breaking the barriers with their new collections. Now entering this space is the new range of gender-inclusive footwear by Japan Vanilla Moon (JVAM). The homegrown brand offers luxury handmade slippers, sandals, sliders and espadrilles, all crafted from genuine leather.
Footbed Sandals, Babouche Espadrilles, Pillow Cross Bar Sandals, Slippers, Woven Slippers, Woven Footbed Sandals, Shearling Slippers are formal names some of the footwear go under. These come in colours tan, camel, ivory, brown, and dark shades like black and navy, and fewer in white, sky blue and red. The leather sourced from India and abroad - Europe, North America, and China, with some designs lined in sheepskin or leather.
JVAM creative director Raoul Mehra says the emphasis is on comfort. The specialised techniques used for the shoes ensure these are lightweight, soft, flexible and easy to wear.
“The technique used to make these shoes is called sacchetto or bologna, which means making shoes without using any hard components. This technique doesn’t apply to the footbed sandals because those have veneer covered wooden soles. Here the leather is injected with a rubber material to ensure a thick and soft base with strong grip. While for slippers and sandals, the soles are made from a thin board like material, which is then covered with leather, the espadrilles have soles of hand-woven jute.”
Founded in 2017, JVAM’s initial collection was an experimental launch for the Japanese market.
“We started selling these shoes in Japan in 2018 and this year we decided to launch them in the Indian market.” His family has been into manufacturing women’s shoes since 1989, but when the University of Pennsylvania economics graduate started contributing to the business in 2016, he thought of doing something different.
“Our company believes in the concept of women empowerment and some of the work – stitching and weaving – is entirely done by women in our unit in Noida. It came to my mind that we talk of equality but we just make women’s shoes,” says Mehra.
Price: Rs 4,500 and Rs 9,500