Ayush Diwan Khurana comes from an economics background and designing was the last thing on his mind. But it happened when he was gifted his first ever pair of Zara loafers back in 2010 which he regarded as a rage back then.
Since then he reverse-engineered the whole shoe making process and five years later launched his own brand, Modello Domani, in 2015. The brand’s founder and designer informs S&A’s Bobo Meitei that the key ideology behind it has always been “Affordable Luxury” and to ensure that the brand reaches all feet across the globe.
Launching the brand
Ayush Diwan Khurana says, well to be honest, I come from an economics background and designing was the last thing on my mind. But so it happened he was gifted his first ever pair of Zara loafers back in 2010 which he regarded as a rage back then. The pair was priced Rs 5000 which he felt was very steep even for Zara. Since then he reverse-engineered the whole shoe making process and five years later launched his own brand in 2015. The key ideology behind it has always been “Affordable Luxury” and to ensure that the brand reaches all feet across the globe. Today, in less than 3 years, Modello Domani, Ayush claims, is one of the most promising entrant brands created with giant partners like Ajio, Koovs, Myntra, Amazon on board as selling partners, over a hundred thousand followers on Instagram and Facebook and 2 features in Forbes India under “The style of the millionaires”.
The brand proudly offers one of the widest range of collections across several styles, namely oxfords, brogues, monkstraps, loafers, slipons, sneakers, corporate formal, party wear, and casual. Along with that it caters to 2 market segments: premium-mass and luxury, and 2 material options; genuine leather and vegan leather/synthetics. In addition to that the brand offers the widest price ranges, starting as economical as Rs 1500 to all the way up to Rs 18,000.
Ayush admits that the competition undoubtedly is fierce, but that is unavoidable. He quotes, “New is always better” and that’s exactly what the brand is in terms of our approach towards the market with fresh new looks, collections, styles, price flexibility and most of all our social media standing which beats most of its immediate competitors by miles. The brand is also one of the top makers of handmade Zardozi artwork slipons in the market. Furthermore, its website www.domanishoes.com is one of a kind with both domestic and world options available for shopping.
Brand’s maturity & consolidation
Ever since the origin in 2015, the brand had indeed grown rapidly in the market, Ayush informs. Its products are available on all giant online selling portals. Though it got started with mere 25 designs, today it enjoys and offer over 250+ ready-to-wear designs along with our special “Picture to Product” customization services; where a customer can create any pair right from a picture of the shoe provided. Apart from professionalism, personally as well the founder feels the brand and his self have come a long way in terms of understanding how the market works and the trends every season, which he continues to study and evolve with each year.
The brand’s retail strategy has always been to cover as much as land as possible. It currently has its products displayed at several boutiques across Delhi and one in Raipur. Soon it will be expanding to Chandigarh and Mumbai by the end of this year. Its flagship store stands tall in Defence Colony/Lajpat Nagar borderline in South Delhi.
On the online front, Ayush is convinced that it is indeed the future. With easy returns, cash on delivery and try and buy options gaining popularity and the generation finding easy access to them all sitting comfortably at home, it is definitely an on-setting trend. The online retail and social media goes hand in hand and both are spiking high at a substantial rate and will continue to do so in the upcoming years, the founder opines.
Goods & Service Tax
Ayush is of the opinion that GST is not helping the industry at all. It has in fact spiked up from 5% to all the way up 18%; more than a 100% increase in one shot. Till date people struggle with the GST system with little or no understanding of how it works, while on one hand demonetization has delivered a huge blow to the economy, Ayush remarks. He adds, now GST is playing its part leaving many traders confused and burdened with increased taxation slabs.
New markets & trend
Currently Modello Domani is eyeing the markets in Dubai and London with its exclusive range of genuine leather construction shoes and handmade gold work Zardozi pairs. Apart from its specialization in velvet customizable slipons for men and women, it has recently introduced the first ever concept of customizable home slippers; embroidered or Zardozi’d velvet super soft open front slippers, fully customizable at Rs 1500 onwards.
Optimism about footwear market
Ayush feels that the market is indeed promising with a bright future no doubt, because everyone needs shoes and need to timely change them as well keeping up with the trends and events. He states, I can’t really predict as in how much time will the market finally heals because one can predict his own business.
Modello Domani in five years
He honestly tends not to limit himself to a few defined years and rather plan and execute slowly and steadily. But he plans to make the brand more global in the upcoming years with more foreign clienteles and achieving my vision of “Happy feet for all” with Domani reaching every household across the globe.