MAGAZINE February 22nd, 2021

MEHER KAKALIA Interview

 

She lived in London for almost twenty years. After Brexit, Meher Kakalia moved to Berlin. A city less sophisticated than London but brewing with art and anything but provincial. There is a shopping street where Meher dreams of opening her store. From Berlin, she tells us something about her brand.

What are your iconic shoes?

"Colorful ballet flats for summer and boots for winter." 

How and when did you decide to become a shoe designer?

"I was born in Karachi and studied finance in London, but I wasn't cut out for that job. I felt the creative calling growing inside me, so I decided to open a brand with a link to my roots. I've always loved all things antique, embroidery, and traditional precious objects. I decided to take my shoes' brand by linking back to the manufacturing tradition of Karachi."

So you produce in Pakistan with local artisans.

"Exactly, actually I also produce elsewhere, in India or Portugal, let's say I like to develop the product where there is a strong tradition on the ground. Going back to Karachi, I found these Pakistani women artisans who make shoes, and they've been making them the same way for 400 years, since the time of the Mughal empire. These women had to travel and leave their children at home, so we arranged for them to work directly from their homes in the villages. We print the design. They have a clear example of what they need to do with embroidery. They make it, and then from the village, the embroidery travels by bus to the atelier where our shoes are made. At first, I thought traveling on the bus would cause the embroidery to fail, but it is an efficient system that works very well and is in everyone's interest. We try to buy leather locally (while the accessories of the shoes are usually Italian): the beautiful thing is that all the shoes are different from each other, with a handmade character".

What are you presenting at WHITE?

"More than a true FW collection given the period we are facing that will be a capsule, but I want it to be special. I did something unusual by putting together African shell fabrics and real Scottish tartan for highly recognizable boots." 

Do you have a dream for the future?

"Opening a store here in Berlin, continuing to do collaborations, and launching the menswear collection."

 

Discover more about

MEHER KAKALIA →

OTHER ARTICLES

FOCUS ON Pink Memories: a story Made in Tuscany through tranditions and craftsmaship.
Discover more →

Pink Memories, owes its constant success on an international level to the winning intuition and entrepreneurial vision of Claudia Camarlinghi and her husband Paolo, ...

See more →
Trail running: MICHELIN and SPEEDLAND together to innovate looking at sustainability.
Discover more →

Trail running innovation starting from a unique and revolutionary shoe that combines the most advanced technological solutions on the market. This is the goal of Speedland, the brand founded by Dave Dombrow and Kevin Fallon who, af...

See more →
PINK MEMORIES Interview
Discover more →

  When you say Pink Memories, everyone thinks of petticoats. And in fact that first edition of White, with 18 petticoats in 18 different colours, went really well. But in 15 years the brand has become a fully fledge...

See more →
CATARZI 1910 Interview
Discover more →

  Catarzi 1910, The Florentine brand of hats and bags made from straw and natural fibers aspires to increasingly transparent communication and new sustainable projects. ...

See more →
LE KADEAU Interview
Discover more →

  How and when was Le kadeau born and why did you choose this name for your project? Le Kadeau was born in 2018 from an idea of Laura Bo...

See more →
MAISON FLANEUR Interview
Discover more →

  How and when was Maison Flaneur born? It was born on December 1, 2015, from my technical knowledge, acquired after years of experi...

See more →