Even the least fashionably conscious person enjoys wearing a good pair of shoes. Practical yet stylish, eye-catching yet comfortable is the sweet spot that not every shoe brand can lay claim to. If they promise these components, it is rare for them to have an environmentally conscious outlook towards production. However, e-commerce footwear retailer My|Ra ticks each of these boxes, while being sustainable. Founded in 2019 by Myra Aggarwal, My|Ra is known for its modern designs on classic artisanal leather to create bespoke, uniquely handmade pieces that stand the test of time.
A passion for design was the catalyst behind the launch of My|Ra. Aggarwal recognized the need to stress on tailored craftsmanship, the use of high-quality materials and designs made for both utility and comfort, all the while keeping style at the forefront. She claims, “We cater to all sensibilities and carve out a new space in luxury footwear that marries beauty, intention, and timelessness, which are the brand’s core values. Our unique styles contain a broad range of naturally dyed leather and whimsical details, including traditionally painted trims, mother of pearl, ceramic beads, friendship macramé and pom-poms, gold-plated stones, and Swarovski crystals.”
My|Ra’s biggest claim to fame is its status as a partially vegan, sustainable and completely ‘Made in India’ footwear line. The team behind My|Ra takes pride in being called a homegrown label that develops and creates eco-friendly footwear for people who feel connected to the earth and are vested in its protection. The founder affirms her deep-rooted passion for sustainable fashion, claiming she honed it while working with a French footwear company for a period of two years. She was aware of the cut-throat competition and relentless pursuit of commercial success by most footwear brands, and was keen to explore a different route while creating her own. Identifying the existence of this gap in the footwear industry in India, she decided to focus on ethical fashion by using the services of Indian artisans and sustainable resources. This would support the local talent and help keep their traditional practices alive, whilst reducing the carbon footprint.
Manufactured in Delhi and Agra, which has always been known as the hub of the Indian shoe-making industry, My|Ra procures handmade embellishments to decorate its pieces from local artisans. Despite the extra expense involved, the brand chooses to work with organic dyes for the leather it uses in order to reduce chemical emissions that cause the same amount of harm to the environment as plastic does. Another sustainable practice the team swears by is to do away with shoe boxes that use dye on the inside, instead opting for more eco-friendly packaging.
Creating these handmade pieces is a painstaking and detailed process which commences with the selection of a particular style. At first, the souter hand-cuts the uppers and soles from pre-designed pattern pieces, and then begins the stitching, punching and assembling of the shoes. Then the leather is naturally dyed and embroidered with beautiful detailing, to make pieces that stand out amongst the competition.
Aggarwal asserts with pride, “Through My|Ra, we offer complete transparency to our customers. Our target customer is the modern woman of today, fashionable and environmentally conscious. We make affordable and stylish footwear that can be used for any occasion and by any person across the board.” The strong emphasis on reusing the waste generated during production ties in with the brand’s core value of giving back to society. They do this by recycling the leather scraps discarded during production into beautiful footwear which is donated for the use of underprivileged sections of society.
My|Ra’s eye-catching pieces and sustainable philosophy have attracted a large clientele, many of whom are celebrities. From Hina Khan to Karishma Tanna, Krystle D’Souza and others, numerous people of note have worn and loved My|Ra’s footwear. “Our celebrity customers are happy to have shoes that marry style with comfort. I am glad to say our products are extremely comfortable to wear, whether for movie premieres or airport looks. We have variations and styles that are loved by everyone,” says Aggarwal with a smile.
With prices ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000, My|Ra provides luxurious and bespoke pieces that do not break the bank. The brand has all kinds of footwear on offer, with formal pieces like lounge heels, embellished sandals and boots, as well as casual wear including flip-flops and sneakers, among other styles. They retail exclusively on their official website www.studiomyra.com and also accept orders on their Instagram page @myrafootwear.
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FORMAT OF PRIYANKA’S NEW SHOW, THE ACTIVIST, CHANGED
WASHINGTON: After facing huge backlash, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ new series ‘The Activist’ is now being reconfigured. As per Variety, the makers have shifted its five-episode format to a one-time documentary special. Many social media users slammed the show for being tone-deaf and insensitive. CBS and producing partners Global Citizen and Live Nation issued this statement, “The Activist’ was designed to show a wide audience, the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others. But it has become apparent the format of the show distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort. So we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a primetime documentary special (air date to be announced), it will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in. Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organisation of their choice.”
CHRIS PRATT TO BANKROLL ‘STRANDED ASSET’
WASHINGTON: Hollywood star Chris Pratt is all set to produce the action-comedy ‘Stranded Asset’, which is written by Sam Richardson and Jen D’Angelo.
According to Variety, the upcoming film reunites the trio after their successful collaboration on ‘The Tomorrow War’, which Pratt executive produced and starred in alongside Richardson. D’Angelo was the on-set writer for the sci-fi feature. Pratt will produce ‘Stranded Asset’ through his Indivisible Productions banner. Sam Richardson will also star in the film. More details of the project have not been announced yet.
TABU TO STAR IN VISHAL BHARDWAJ’S FILM ‘KHUFIYA’
MUMBAI: Tabu is all set to work with ace filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj again in ‘Khufiya’, which will release on Netflix.
Based on an espionage novel ‘Escape to Nowhere’ by Amar Bhushan, ‘Khufiya’ is a a spy thriller. Excited to reunite with Bhardwaj, Tabu shared on Instagram, “Expect nothing but sheer thrill. Excited to announce my re-uniting with @vishalrbhardwaj for #Khufiya. Coming very soon on @netflix_in. Khufiya is a one of a kind project, extremely close to my heart and I am excited to be a part of this gripping spy thriller. As always, it’s a delight working with VB (Vishal Bhardwaj) again, and feels like homecoming.” ‘Khufiya’ is a story about Krishna Mehra, an R&AW operative who is assigned to track down India’s defence secrets. Bhardwaj is trying to create an edgy espionage film that contrasts the slow burn of intelligence and surveillance work with deep-rooted emotional conflicts.
BIG B MISSES PRE-PANDEMIC ‘SUNDAY DARSHAN’ WITH FANS
MUMBAI: Waving to fans gathered outside his Jalsa residence used to be megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s Sunday morning routine. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Big B stopped the ritual. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, Amitabh took a stroll down memory lane and expressed his sadness on not being able to meet his well-wishers. “Thank you well wisher .. yes .. when will those Sunday well wishers at Jalsa return,” he wrote. Alongside the note, Big B posted an image of himself surrounded by imaginary fans and he was seen embracing them as the human connection has gotten a bit lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Amitabh is busy hosting the new season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Speaking of films, he will be seen in ‘Good Bye’, ‘Brahmastra’, and ‘The Intern’ remake.
JACQUELINE GETS CANDID WITH ARJUN ON ‘BAK BAK WITH BABA’
MUMBAI: Arjun Kapoor recently invited Jacqueline Fernandez on his digital chat show ‘Bak Bak with Baba’. Arjun questioned Jacqueline on crushes, food, and how she tackles trolls on social media. Talking about her first crush, Jacqueline said, “There was somebody in school but I can’t name him. I also had a huge crush on Leonardo DiCaprio after watching ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Titanic’ and Ricardo from ‘Backstreet Boys’.” Arjun asked her “How important is food to you?” She shared, “though I feel it’s nice to celebrate with food as everyone enjoys it, there was a phase in my 20’s when I did turn to food and that was late at night. I lived alone so it was like cake, ice cream, anything crispy. I did have a terrible relationship with food and then went starving for a week and that’s really bad. So, now it’s about knowing that I don’t need to turn to it, tomorrow is another day and we will get through it.”
ANANYA, SIDDHANT & ADARSH BAG NEW FILM, ‘KHO GAYE HUM KAHAN’
MUMBAI: Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Adarsh Gourav will be seen sharing screen space in Excel Entertainment and Tiger Baby’s new film ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’.
Young, fresh and relevant, ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is a ‘digital’ age story of three friends in the city of Bombay. The film is written by Zoya Akhtar, Arjun Varain Singh and Reema Kagti, produced by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The film will be the directorial debut of Arjun Varain Singh featuring the young and talented Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Adarsh Gourav. While Siddhant became a household name (MC Sher) after the success of Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’, fans are excited to see the talented actor share screen space with Ananya. It would also be interesting to see Adarsh in the mix, whose last breakout performance in the Netflix film ‘The White Tiger’ garnered immense praise and appreciation.
On the occasion of writer-producer Reema Kagti’s birthday, Excel Entertainment & Tiger Baby have launched the poster and video—announcing the release of their next theatrical project, ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in 2023.
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