It has been nearly 300 years since the decline of the Mughal empire, still their influence is everywhere, be it in fashion, cuisine or architecture.
We still love to wear Anarkali dresses at weddings, crave to eat biryani every now and then and lately, we have come to adore juttis, which can be styled with almost every outfit.
Having a similarity to nagras, jutti is a handcrafted, luxury footwear introduced by the Mughals. It is also known as khussa, mojari etc.
The early 2000s saw a major hype over nagra shoes as part of both men's and women's fashionwear. With time, the trend made room for other fashionable footwear like the jutti.
One of the key differences between nagra and jutti is that nagra is typically a man's shoe with an extended curled toe and an open back, while a jutti is closed from the back. Juttis have similarities with ballerina shoes.
The differences between nagra and jutti are subtle, yet juttis make a stronger fashion statement.
Juttis are much more comfortable and versatile; they can glam up any outfit. The best part is that they are available in every possible colour and design.
The uppers of a jutti is typically made of leather or embroidered textile and ornamented with stones, cowry shells, mirrors, bells and ceramic beads. Embellishments like zardosi, sequin and dabka work are also very common in juttis.
Even the stitching of the upper side of the sole is done with cotton threads, which are not only eco-friendly but also make the leather part more durable. Some product ranges also use bright and ornate threads.
However, being completely handcrafted, juttis are luxury products. From shaping to moulding and stitching to assembling, everything is done by hand. Thus, these shoes are relatively costlier when compared to other footwear in the market.
It is not surprising that juttis have taken over the fashion world with their feminine grace and ubiquity. The Business Standard spoke to three emerging jutti brands which may not have caught your attention yet.
Aria by Adnin
Just before the havoc of the Covid-19 pandemic, Syeda Maria Adnin, a Dhaka-based aesthetic physician, started her online-based footwear brand named 'Aria by Adnin'.
In 2019, while shopping for her marriage, Adnin realised how our local market is quite biased towards imported luxury footwear.
"Back then, there was no single brand that sold affordable bridal juttis. Of course, many online pages were selling those, but none of them could be considered as brands as those were sourced from the same vendors. Hence, I decided to start my own brand that would manufacture juttis locally," Adnin informed us.
Comfort is the utmost priority of her brand. Hence, all the products are padded to prevent any blistering from regular use.
Adnin is solely responsible for all the planning and designing of her brand. She even sources raw materials and leads the manufacturing team. Her manufacturing team consists of several in-house craftsmen.
Adorned with golden dabka work in maroon red velvet, the pair named 'Mirah Jutti' happens to be Aria by Adnin's best selling product till date.
The brand initially started with nine khussa collections and one pair of heels. Now, they have slides, kolhapuris, potlis and luxury jewelleries along with new designs of khussas and heels.
The price of a basic pair of khussa starts at Tk1,500 and can go up to Tk7,000, depending on the level of embellishments.
Coral Haze Bangladesh
Founded in 2018, Coral Haze Bangladesh is a franchise of the popular Indian footwear brand 'Coral Haze'.
The proprietor of the brand, Tamanna Ahmed, started this business out of her love for juttis.
"Juttis have always been the hero in any of my attire. I used to buy them every time I visited India and eventually, my fondness for this particular footwear made me start this business," she said.
Currently, Coral Haze Bangladesh has two outlets, one in the Pink City Shopping Mall in the capital and the other one in Khulshi, Chattogram.
Coral Haze makes double-padded juttis that are durable and wearable for up to three years. The brand has more than 500 designs in its collection. They launch every product in a limited edition.
"We generally do not re-launch our products as we firmly believe in limited edition supremacy. But one of our collections named 'Extraordinary' was so popular that we had to restock it seven times," Tamanna shared with us.
The price of a pair of khussa from Coral Haze Bangladesh starts at Tk3,000 and goes up to Tk4,000.
They also make adorable khussas for babies, which can cost you around Tk2,000 to Tk3,000.
All the products of this brand are handcrafted; cotton, chanderi and velvet are their go-to materials. Moreover, Coral Haze Bangladesh is also very popular for its sliders collection.
Blending tradition with contemporary sensibilities, Local Label offers an exquisite collection of handcrafted juttis.
To give local fabrics like jamdani, silk and taat the upper hand in crafting a foreign footwear like jutti, Zahera Shirin and her husband Shariful Islam Ovee opened this online-based brand in early 2020.
"Juttis are gorgeous by nature, always loaded with heavy embellishments. Being a minimalist and a jutti lover, I always wanted simple yet stylish pairs of juttis, which I did not find in the market. So, I started making and selling them," said Shirin.
Local Label thrives to make juttis a regular wear comfortable shoe, that too at an affordable price range. The brand sells juttis from Tk899 to Tk2,250.
All the pieces of Local Label are designed by Shirin and crafted by local artisans. A bright vermillion coloured pair named Zafrani made with jamdani is the brand's best selling product.
Unlike other brands, Local Label is more focused on the materials used rather than the heavy embellishments. A spiffing pair of kantha stitched or tie dye jutti by this brand will never fail to help you ace the perfect look.