Ballet flats are an essential for every wardrobe. While they will always be a classic, the typical Western ones can sometimes be a little bland when worn with traditional South Asian clothes. This is where Preeti Modi comes in, with her store Juttiwala, which offers a wide selection of comfy, blinged out juttis for the shoe lovers. This wedding season, she sat down with Avenue T to discuss the ins and outs of footwear manufacturing.
Juttis are the most comfortable and easy to wear footwear that can be paired with any outfit on any occasion. And Juttiwala has the perfect collection, starting from traditional to casual designs that suit the culture and style best appreciated in the Bangladeshi market.
Juttiwala began its journey only a few months ago, in August, 2019. When asked about her motivation to become a footwear designer, Preeti informed, “I have been very passionate about fashion ever since I was a teenager -- be it clothing or footwear. Especially when it comes to footwear, I have always had a special eye. So that’s where the interest started. And there is nothing more trendy and comfortable than a nagra, so I started my journey with it. Moreover, my husband has been my biggest inspiration since the beginning of my journey. His encouragement and support has made all the difference.”
Talking about the most important factors to consider while designing a jutti, Preeti informed, “The first and foremost thing that I keep in mind is the comfort level of my clients. Our juttis are specially designed with padded cushion on the inside for comfort.”
Preeti makes sure that the juttis are suitable for all kinds of occasions when she is designing them -- they have ones which can be worn with any type of outfit, be it western or traditional; then there are those which can be worn on parties or special occasions; and then they have the ones that can be worn to work. Apart from that, they have juttis for the brides that can be paired up with their outfits during a holud, mehndi, sangeet or even the wedding. According to Preeti, she tries to cater to all kinds of budgets and preferences so that every woman can find the perfect pair of jutti for herself at Juttiwala.
“The biggest challenge I had to face was to come up with juttis that not only looked good on people, but are comfortable and cost effective at the same time. My main objective was to capture the attention of the youngsters, as they share the same passion and love for juttis in my opinion. Keeping this in mind, I started the online store, apart from the physical one. We already have a clothing brand named Kiara, and Juttiwala is an addition to that. After receiving great success through Kiara, I started designing juttis too. It was challenging at the beginning but people have been very kind when it comes to accepting our products,” said Preeti while discussing her journey and the obstacles she had to overcome in order to start this venture.
In the age of heels and stilletos, Preeti believes juttis are rapidly changing the trend -- and they are here to stay. “Dhaka has been very kind to us in accepting our designs and the juttis,” she said. Their zardosi, kundan and ghungroo juttis have been their most popular designs and loved by people of all ages. With the wedding season coming up, the Juttiwala team is currently working on their stylish and exclusive bridal collection, which will be available from next month, both online and at their store.
A major concern when it comes to wearing juttis is that they leave your feet in agony, but the Juttiwala team has always been resolute about not compromising with their clients’ comfort. Their juttis are made of pure leather, with double padded soles for extra comfort, and all of these are imported from India. The prices range from Tk2,400 to Tk4,200.
Juttiwala is quite focused on combining ethnicity and glamour, so that all the women out there can carry a little bit of our culture with them, even when they are rocking a Western outfit.
Jutti lovers who want to check out their fabulous collection can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/juttiwalabd/