How Flying Cobbler is designing shoes with a difference

These Chennai-based entrepreneurs are fulfilling medical needs, bridal demands and more across the country, with their pocket-friendly bespoke footwear

Updated - February 04, 2020 12:57 pm IST

Published - February 03, 2020 04:46 pm IST

Two years ago, Pranavnath G and his brother Kishen, launched the service, bringing cobbler services to customers’ doorsteps. “I wanted to identify talented cobblers who set up shop on the city’s pavements, provide them orientation, and employ them for a monthly pay. The idea is to empower them,” says Pranavnath, whose father is a leather exporter.

He set up a workshop at his father’s company and the team currently comprises a pattern designer and a master shoemaker, who supervise seven cobblers. They repair and refurbish used footwear. Now, they are being trained to handcraft footwear with various materials, customising them as per customers’ requirements.

Pranavnath says that he initiated service to make bespoke footwear affordable. Brides, for instance, when designing their wedding outfits, can set aside half a metre of the fabric and approach Flying Cobbler. “We will create footwear using the fabric on the upper region and insole, and for the base, we use thermoplastic rubbers for durability. The rest is made of leather,” explains Pranavnath.

The women’s range starts at ₹1,200. The team is game for upcycling as well: so you can give them an old silk sari or skirt to turn into a new pair of sandals.

A click away

Flying Cobbler recently collaborated with a men’s fashion store in the city for creating a line of shoes and sandals. “For these, we source suiting material even as customers place orders for getting them tailored,” he says, adding, “Every aspect of the design can be decided by customers: height of the heel, shape, size, design, embellishment if required, colour combinations, fabric to be used... We take their measurements accordingly.”

He adds that Flying Cobbler wishes to remain a B-to-C company, as they value direct interaction with end-users.

They also offer services for the differently-abled, people who have undergone feet injury. The company sends staff to measure the foot size of such customers, as well as showing them models to choose from. Pranav recently designed for a septuagenarian who had fractured his upper thigh. “He was finding it hard to walk in regular footwear, so we spent some time assessing his foot dimension. He had a mild limp and would drag his foot, so the sandals had to be very light. He also wanted slip-ons, instead of having to struggle with buckles,” he says.

He had also designed shoes for an accident victim whose feet were injured “The focus here is giving the most comfortable base, and ease of walking,” explains Pranavnath.

For individuals who do not have design ideas, Flying Cobbler provides design consultation. “Flip flops and sandals with cotton fabric on them are among our most popular products,” says Pranavnath, adding “College students love them since they are a pocket-friendly option.”

Flying Cobbler ships across the country. For details, call 9500145832.

A click away

Flying Cobbler also has an app through which customers can upload an image of their damaged footwear, seek an estimate, and schedule a pick-up. Delivery personnel will collect the shoes/sandals and take them to the workshop at Chromepet. It takes about three to four working days to get a pair of footwear repaired. Prices for the services start at ₹150. For details, call 7092235478.

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