When Shirin Mann Sangha was getting married, pairing one’s lehenga with stilettos was the norm. But Sangha, who was a journalist back then, went jutti shopping instead. Most of what she found was either too plain, boring or uncomfortable. So, she got a pair made for herself. In the process, she realised that jutti making was a dying craft. Soon after, in August 2014, Needledust was born.
What’s in a name?
“Needledust breaks into two parts-needle and dust. A needle is used for embroideries and dust is derived from the fairy tale story when a fairy showers pixie dust to make something beautiful,” says Sangha, who currently retails juttis for women and children and will be launching a men’s line soon. She has also tied up with designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla and launched a luxury line.
Today, the brand has several celebrities as clients. “Right from our launch, Sonam Kapoor has been someone we love and have designed for many times. Recently, we designed 150 pairs of juttis for Deepika Padukone for her mehendi gifting at Lake Como, Italy. We also did an exclusive pop up at Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jones’ wedding in Jodhpur. Their friends including Game of Thrones star, Sophie Turner wore the juttis at the wedding along with Priyanka,” she says. Actors such as Alia Bhatt, Kangana Ranaut, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon and Sara Ali Khan have also been spotted in her creations.
Price Rs 2,700 to Rs 4,500 (for regular line), Rs 5,500 to Rs 8,000 (for Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla X Needledust collection)
(By Ridhi Kale)
Neha 30, Akanksha 26, and Aarti Chhabra 23
Founders, Pastels and Pop, Bengaluru
Sisters Neha, Akanksha and Aarti Chhabra used to create and design all their outfits from scratch. Neha got married in December 2014 and they got innumerable compliments for their clothes and shoes. “That’s when it hit us that there’s a market in south India for quality, affordable designer ethnic wear,” says Akanksha. They began their research and Pastels and Pop debuted in July with its jutti collection.
Best foot forward
“The designs that we introduce are not accidental. A lot of thought goes into the type of prints and embroideries we choose so that they intersect with the taste of the modern woman,” says Neha. Celebrities that wear their creations include Sara Ali Khan, Kriti Sanon, Sonakshi Sinha, Malaika Arora Khan, Parineeti Chopra, Dia Mirza, Swara Bhaskar, Tabu and Soha Ali Khan.
Price: Rs 1,800 to Rs 3,000
(By Ridhi Kale)
Laksheeta Govil, 30
Co-founder, Fizzy Goblet, Delhi
While millennials were more concerned about playing dress up, Laksheeta Govil, a fashion design student, decided to revive traditional Indian footwear. A graduate from Pearl Academy, Delhi, one day she came across an expensive pair of quirky shoes that she fell in love with. Instead of buying the pair, she decided to make her own. Her fun project soon turned into a jutti business-Fizzy Goblet, which launched in 2014.
She realised juttis cause shoe bites, hurt the sole and only go with traditional wear. That’s why for Fizzy Goblet, she cushioned the sole by increasing the padding, added a rubber sole for loafer juttis, and modernised the design.
“We have used crafts such as zardozi embroidery, crochet, Abhla mirror work, tie-up laces, floral prints, and graphic style embroidery to create different juttis,” says Govil. They have collections designed as daily wear and those meant for festive occasions. They even have a children’s line, which includes smaller version of all their pairs.
Nick Jonas was the first to wear a design from her new men’s line for his mehendi ceremony. Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja gifted customised ‘Aisha’ juttis to the guests on their mehendi to match their ivory and gold-themed wedding. She has designed pieces in collaboration with designer Payal Singhal.