The initiative, which launched today, features 16 exclusive India-inspired styles from leading designers.
The exclusive women’s collections include Alberta Ferretti, Aquazzura, Laurence Dacade, Malone Souliers, Tods, Ingie Paris and Rupert Sanderson, among others. For men, designers Edhen Milano, CB Made in Italy, Duke & Dexter and Stemar created special looks.
For example, Aquazzura founder Edgardo Osorio reimagined his fall “powder puff” slingback, incorporating gold and red elements. “I’ve always been fascinated by India’s diverse culture and its breathtaking scenery,” Osorio said.
In addition, Level put together leading global designers with talent from India for special collaborations. Chloe Gosselin teamed with Indian couturier Gaurav Gupta for a one-of-a-kind look, while Dubai-based designer Maha Abdul Rasheed of Bambah partnered with Fizzy Goblet, a young Indian footwear brand by Laksheeta Govil to create a collection of Indian juttis — with a twist.
The Dear India shoes will be sold in store and on Levelshoes.com throughout September and October, and a special festival is planned for October — ahead of Diwali, The Festival of Lights.
Here Rania Masri, general manager of Level, talks more about the unique program.
How did the idea first come about?
“There was a spark and a moment of inspiration that made us recognize we’ve been inspired by the beauty of India for longer than I can remember. We felt now was a good time to pay homage to the opulence and overwhelming glamour of Indian culture. With autumn/winter ’17 being so rich from a color and fabric perspective, the seasonal synergy also reinforced what we wanted to do.”
What central characteristics embody all of the different styles?
“The collections take on fabrics like velvet and silk and embroidery that reflects the incredible Indian sarees and India’s long history with jewels.”
How did the unique collabs develop? What do you think the designers learned from each other?
“When calling out to designers, we went in two directions: One was having the couture designers of India lend their amazing handmade fabrics to the craftsmanship of footwear designers — as seen in the collaboration between Chloe Gosselin and Gaurav Gupta. Another approach was taking contemporary design and blending it with traditional Indian designs. This was a collaboration between homegrown Dubai ready-to-wear brand Bambah and a young Indian designer behind Fizzy Goblet, who came together to create Indian jutties reimagined. We’re excited to be that bridge and forge these otherwise unlikely partnerships.”
How will you market the collections in store and online and build consumer awareness?
“We will celebrate thecampaign over the next two months with some incredible content we’ve produced across India, in store activations, the beautiful collections and curated talks that will uncover different perspectives of India. Ultimately, we want to give the Level Shoes community a piece of India through our lens.“
To see some of the opulent looks and more from the campaign, click through the gallery.