Hip, affordable and utterly personalised – here’s who you should be contacting to hand-paint your sneakers.
SHAILEE’S HANDPAINTED SHOES
The designer was based in Bengaluru till recently, but loyal customers can still place orders that she’s willing to ship out from her new home in New Zealand. Prices change depending on the shoe, size and complexity of the design, but largely range from Rs 1,000-3,000.
Artist and teacher Jai Ranjit is based in Mumbai, but is happy to ship his handpainted shoes outside the city as well. Requests, he tells us, have ranged from Iron Man and Star Wars to his personal favourites, Darth Vader and a Lord Of The Rings-inspired pair featuring Gollum and Gandalf. Ranjit also custom paints T-shirts, and of late, has begun offering handmade woodcut print T-shirts too. Prices range from Rs 1,000-3,000, depending on whether you provide him with the unpainted shoes or not.
Mumbai-based duo Meha and Jahanavi personalise shoes with original and innovative artwork for customers across India. Prices range from Rs 1,200-2,000 if you provide the shoes to them, and Rs 2,000-4,000 if they acquire the shoes for you. Men tend to be very specific with their specifications, they tell us, and abstract, geometric or tribal patterns seem to be the most popular.
Sibling duo Azra and Zain Ali Jetha were among the first to start selling handpainted shoes in Mumbai, and now cater to clients around the world. Their range starts at Rs 4,000 (including the shoes), and the brand custom paints apparel and even walls and furniture.
OH PAIR SHOES
Shipping is restricted to Maharashtra, so Dhanashree Nair’s designs tend to sell more in Mumbai than anywhere else. Prices range from Rs 1,000-2,500, for shoes featuring designs inspired by everything from Michael Jackson to Super Mario and Calvin & Hobbes.
Amita Bajaj lives in New Delhi and sells attractively priced shoes (Rs 999-3,000) on her website, shipping across India. Her brand stands out for using vegan materials to create a myriad of designs – city scapes, cartoons and one-liners are among the sources of inspiration.