When Dilip Kapur, president of Hidesign isn’t teaching young children at the Auroville Ashram in his hometown Puducherry, he’s busy brainstorming with his team on new ventures. This year he launched a new men’s shoe collection.
Today, Hidesign might be known for its bags but Kapur draws our attention to the fact that it started out as a maker of leather sandals. Life has come full circle for this man and his 37- year-old brand.
We are offering shoes tailor-made for professionals who like to keep things comfortable and classy even if it’s priced at a premium,” says Kapur. The line, priced between `4,000 and `7,000, is available at brand’s 30 exclusive stores in India, and also on Amazon.
What makes these shoes special? The leather is tanned for 40 days using local myrobalam seeds, wattle bark and pungam oil. “Also, every shoe has leather outside as well as on the inside. Nothing is synthetic. Shunning synthetic allows the footwear to breathe,” adds Kapur. As for the design, everything is in-house.
“We have used some texturing. Some shoes are woven at the back,” he says. So, once your office hours are over, you can head straight to a party without having to fuss over your footwear, he says. The brand, according to Kapur, is trying to bridge the gap between the inexpensive, poor-quality shoes created for the mass market and expensive, glittery party shoes.
Not everybody knows that the brand seeks regular creative advice from the Louis Vuitton team. “The LV team loved our men’s shoes collection, but they trashed our women’s line. We were more than happy to put the latter on hold and rework on its basics,” Kapur confesses. The men’s line, which features formal shoes, moccasins, boat shoes and sneakers, is doing fairly well in Delhi. “But, the response at the Bangalore International Airport store has been exceptional,” he says.
“Hidesign will be ready with its women’s line—dressy evening shoes, wedges and sandals priced at `3,000 onwards—by end of the month. The brand also plans to launch stores at T3, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and Mumbai’s domestic airport by the end of the year.