You can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears. If you want the look, put away all the sandals and slip-ons that you have been wearing till now and splurge on sumptuous, handcrafted footwear as handsome as it is wearable. Once you step out in a pair of bespoke shoes, customised to your foot’s individual characteristics, it’s hard to wear anything else.
Mumbai-based Nirali Ruparel used to be a sports and fitness consultant, but thank goodness she gave that up, as it would simply be a crime against fashion for her utterly impeccable men’s shoes not to exist. Her designer shoe label Achilles’ Heel crafts made-to-order shoes let you express yourself through them.
These consummately chic, loafers, Oxfords, boots and brogues are the epitome of sartorial perfection and can effortlessly take you from brunch to the ballroom, and even to the golf course. Every detail, including colour, lining, sole, heel and stitching, is tailored to specification. You could customise anything you want - your initials, words you like, emoticons, cartoons, silver zardozi hand embroidery and even Swarovski…
The bespoke process, in fact, has nothing to do with trying on shoes. Instead, Nirali meets with clients to learn their style, leather preferences and lifestyle needs. Tedious measurements with careful notes on every nuance of the foot, such as unusual toe joints, bone spurs, and crooked toes are noted. A bespoke pair can take up to three weeks to make. You could even design your own footwear on a virtual platform and see the 3D image of the end product. The Achilles’ Heel E-spoke studio allows customers to take a virtual try-on of footwear, and gives suggestions on correct sizes.
While the ready to wear range is priced 07,000 onwards the made-to-measure range (available by appointment only) is from 017,000 onwards. For those looking for a more daring sartorial persuasion, the Patina collection is spot on. The decadent finishing details of these custom-crafted, hand painted shoes (030,000 onwards), add an air of opulence to the shoes. Isn’t that what we want our shoes to say about us? “I like luxury”
Where: 40, Savla Chambers, Nanabhai Lane, Flora Fountain, Mumbai; (Street Opposite Akbarallys Store); achillesheel.com; call 9920327059