• Love Kolhapuris? Here are few places in Mumbai where you can get awesome ones

    Team SMDMumbaiMay 21, 2017, 11:11 IST

    Anupam Chappals, Cafe Leopold lane, Colaba Causeway Mehmood Merchant knows his maal is good. Which is why if you tell him you are from press and wish to chat, he'll probably brush your interest off with a story of when British Vogue got in touch with him. Regular Joes, looking for not a story but a sturdy, quirky Kolhapuri, have his attention. Anupam stocks the traditional mahogany fair with red pompom, but was also one of the first to introduce the sleeker-soled, softer-upper-in-crazy-colours version. They source their wares from a town outside of Kolhapur, which means you are slipping your feet into authentic stuff. We've worn their chappals for years, and it's almost always the greed to try a new colour rather than wear and tear that's led us to discard a pair.

    Dunway Footwear, Linking Road
    Amid the air-conditioned shops that sell fancy footwear on this road, is a corner that has steadfastly been home to Oshos, Rajasthani jutis and Kolhapuris. While the women's range is, as always great, we couldn't get our eyes off the men's Kolhapuris available in green, blue and yellow. On that line are two other shops Indian Art Footwear, which is just across, and Shoe Shape Footwear (which, we are told, supplies the footwear in wholesale as well).

    Price: Women's collection starts at Rs 450, mens' at Rs 500

    Kamble's store, Dadar (West)
    It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of Kolhapuri chappals at Sadashiv Kamble's 35-year-old store at Dadar. Here, the chappals are shipped all the way from Solapur, Kolhapur and Khedegaon. "The name comes from villages that they are made in. For instance, there's Kapashi, Paytaan, Kachkadi, Bakkalnali, and Pukari. Each variety is distinct in terms of design, style and pattern," he explains.

    Price: Rs 300 - Rs 1,500

    Near Santacruz Station (West), under skywalk
    There was a time, nearly a decade ago, when the lane outside Santacruz station had quite a few Kohlapuri chappal shops. Today, only Akil Shaikh's shop stands. While the bright neons and pom-poms are missing from this shop, its location near the station means easy access, especially when you are on your way to a meeting and your footwear breaks. They have a mens' range too.

    Price: Women's collection starts at Rs 450, mens' at Rs 500

    Topaz Chappals, Colaba Causeway
    Don't get dissuaded by the disinterest in the eyes of those who man this hole-in-the-wall shop next to Metro Shoes in Colaba. They have a variety to rival Anupam Chappals, although not as many hues. Their stuff is, durable, sturdy and comfortable. That they have been around for eons is proof of their quality.

    Owner Jalandhar Pawar shows us the range of Kolhapuri chappals for mean at his Dadar store
    Owner Jalandhar Pawar shows us the range of Kolhapuri chappals for mean at his Dadar store

    Aparajita Toor, aparajitatoor.com
    Designer Aparajita Toor has upscaled the Kolhapuri. And while not everyone is likely to agree with the dilution of character (her flats have the customy pom pom and fringe detailed upper, but are made from luxurious coloured leather), we say, don't write her off yet. The nude pair with gold trims and pencil heels are perfect to team with a glamourous saree when you are looking for some height as are the gold Kolhapuris with wedge heels. But our favourite is the Classic Basic beige pair with a cushioned base, subtle gold trims and a backstrap for comfort — chic enough to hook up with Indian and Western wear.

    Price: Rs 3,000 -Rs 5,000 approx.

    Vintage chic
    Designer footwear label, Stoffa is known best for its Kolhapuris with wedge heels in a baffling array of colours and finish. Colaba Causeway boutique Oak Tree (Cusrow Baug) also stocks some interesting wedges provided you are all right with a contemporary printed upper and base.

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    Amnika Foot Kolhapuri Chappal Stall at Hill Road, Bandra
    Amnika Foot Kolhapuri Chappal Stall at Hill Road, Bandra

    Other Hotspots

    • Not too far off from Sadashiv Kamble's stall outside Anthonio D'Silva School in Dadar (W), lies Jalandhar Pawar's shop selling Kolhapuri chappals. The more the merrier, we say.
    • JJ And Sons Shoes, KJ.Trust Building, Prathama Samaj, No. 137, New Charni Road, Raja Rammohan Roy Rd, Grant Road East, Khetwadi, Girgaon
    • Amnika footware, opposite Marks and Spencer, Hill Road

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