The shoe master

April 26, 2013 , by Bibek Bhandari, Leave your thoughts
While many young people are eying  fashion designing, Ahmed Dulla chose to study footwear technology. He recently launched his footwear brand Dulla Shoes and is using the social media platform as a business portal.  

In 2009, while interning at a shoe manufacturing company in India, Ahmed Dulla’s boss referred to his design as “junk” and asked him to trash it.

Then a student at Delhi’s Footwear Development and Design Institute, that incident wasn’t a disappointment but a major boost to Dulla’s ambition of becoming a footwear designer – he had to prove himself.

“While working for a company, I realised that you have to work within a boundary,” Dulla says. “I can’t work with someone else’s idea.”

And for that reason, he came up with his own brand – Dulla Shoes.

After two years of research and work, Dulla launched its first collection in Nepal and India in March 2013.

While Nepalese youth have been fascinated with fashion designing, only a handful of them turn it into a career, and within that footwear designing is a rather novice concept. With Dulla’s arrival, the creator says he is exploring a new territory.

Dulla says he has always been interested in shoes. As a kid, he was always interested in what people were wearing on their feet; he still notices people’s footwear on the streets.

“I don’t know why, but I was always fascinated by shoes,” says the 25-year-old designer.

It was after high school that he actually decided to further his interest and pursue a degree in footwear technology.

“I was really interested in studying this,” says Dulla who claims he was never a bright student during his school years in Nepal and India. “But here I was passionately devoting my time to learn.”

During three years in Delhi, Dulla mastered footwear technology – from designing to production and marketing to merchandising.

“Basically I was studying shoes,” he says. “I was learning about each and every technical aspect of shoes.”

But after studies, the young designer says he did have to struggle. While manufacturers wanted mass production, Dulla was more interested in limited edition. So with minimal investment — he borrowed money from his parents who was sceptical of the venture — the young designer started his own start up.

Strictly focusing on comfort, he says Dulla Shoes stands out amid other brands for its qualities.

“They’re all hand made,” he says. “From cutting to stitching to assembling, unlike other shoes that are fully machine-made.”

But unlike other shoes, Dulla doesn’t have a store or a stockist. He primarily markets and also sells his shoes through Facebook.

“It’s a good way to use the social networking site,” he remarks.

Dulla Shoes has more than 8,500 fans on Facebook, and it has become a forum for him to interact with his potential customers.  People comment on his designs, admire them and also inquire about price and delivery.

In Nepal, where Dulla is based, his pair of shoes range from Rs. 2,500 t0 3,000, and the man doesn’t hesitate to make the deliveries himself.

In May, the designer who specialises in women’s shoes, says he is adding a new range of flats to his existing collection of heels, clogs, and wedges. He currently has 15 designs in his sales line up.

Later in the year, Dulla is also branching out to men’s shoes. He shares his plan of collaborating with a local shoe manufacturer to produce men’s shoes in Nepal.

Once ridiculed and picked on by some of his friends for designing shoes, Dulla Shoes has now become a brand that identifies him. Though he opted for a peculiar interest, Dulla says he invested his time and energy to pursue that. And for him, it has made all the difference – Dulla Shoes’ success is his testament.

  • dulla1
  • dulla3
  • dulla2

Tags: , ,

Categorised in: Features, Liefstyle

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Related Articles