According to 27-year-old jutti designer Sabista Khan, one of the main reasons people hesitate to wear juttis is the shoe bites.
“I call these people the non-believers,” she says, “and it took me a very long time to work with my karigars to come up with leather that isn’t really hard. We pre-print our juttis, following by an oiling and sun-drying process way before we sell them for the sake of customers’ comfort. Unlike many brands out there, we have a leather that is very soft to the touch, avoiding rough friction. Nine out of 10 people tell me my juttis don’t bite.”
Originally from Mumbai, Sabista started her brand The Cinderella Story (TCS) in Hyderabad after getting married, and she quickly picked up celebrity clientèle including Soha Ali Khan, Samantha Akkineni and Neha Sharma.
As the weather warms up, Sabista offers up a quick jutti guide and also turns some common misconceptions away.
Tips and tricks
Colour choice “If you’re styling juttis with a western outfit, go for a lot of threadwork. If you go for something pearl or diamond-heavy or sequins, it obviously becomes very heavy. We also have printed juttis which pair well. At the moment we are developing ‘sneaker juttis’ which lace up; these work well with summer dresses.
The sailboat juttis by The Cinderella Story
Go with fun or pastel colours, rather than deep reds or greens which are traditional. Stylists are also taking note of this. We worked on Rhea Kapoor and Masaba Gupta’s collaboration where a pair of our casual pastel pink Notty And Nice juttis were used with a vibrant Indo-Western ensemble, and it worked very well.”
Go for oddities “Quirky juttis with fun motifs are a good idea too. We have some with filled up beer jugs and ones with sailboats on them. The beer ones were popular for the New Year’s time because a lot of girls wanted to avoid heels. We’ll be launching them officially at the upcoming Label Bazaar though.”
‘Juttis are not sustainable’ “It completely depends on how you’re wearing them. In my opinion, they are quite sustainable and if you’re taking care of them right, they will last a long time. In historical films Kesari, Parineeti Chopra wore juttis; these costumes are true to the time period, people back then wore them because they’re terrain-proof and comfortable. That said, make sure you buy juttis made from durable and soft leather. Embroidered juttis aren’t as durable so be mindful. We provide a care card for customers, advising customers on how to tighten or loosen them, for fit.”
‘Juttis are just for girly girls’ “No! Once again, it depends. Yes, most juttis out there have a more feminine aesthetic, but there are juttis for men too. Recently more people have opted for juttis over sneakers for comfort.”
The Notty & Nice juttis worn in the Masaba Gupta x Rhea Kapoor campaign shoots
‘They are only for people with slim feet’ “I have a Patan lineage where we have very big bones so my feet are very wide. It was a design dilemma I faced when starting my line. I did not want to make dainty juttis only to leave out people like me! People have approached me and said, ‘no, this won’t fit me’ but when they try it on, they actually mould to fit the natural contours of their feet, without waiting to break it in. Some people have bought 20 pairs in one shot because they really appreciated the inclusivity. Our size range has also grown and we are launching those in about four to six months.”
Sabista adds that TCS juttis also have double cushioning to help with arch support, so that one does not feel that they are walking in complete flats. That said, Sabista has proudly converted many people to become pro-jutti!
The Cinderella Story juttis can be found on Instagram at @thecinderellastoryofficial