Wearable art

February 9, 2018 09:03 AM Ashma Chhetri


Dikesh Prajapati, Amuda Mishra, and Watsal Rajbhandari were once discussing the importance of traditional arts and culture in Nepal over a cup of tea and that’s when they came up with the concept for Dochaa, which are basically shoes worn by inhabitants of the Himalayan region in Nepal. Authentic traditional designs on comfortable modern sneakers is now Dochaa’s modus operandi. Their products are solely handcrafted by local artisans and reflect Nepal’s culture and aesthetics. 

“We wanted to make something that the current generation would like,” says Prajapati adding that their shoes company, Dochaa, wants to create a brand that’s the perfect fusion of arts and luxury. Preserving our cultural essence while empowering the community and making sure their customers are satisfied are the primary objectives of Dochaa. 

Their unique designs carry historical references and also try to preserve the culture of various ethnic groups. The first one is Buna Dochaa. Buna refers to woven materials. This type of dochaa comes with a layer of the oldest Nepali fabrics known as Dhaka. Next is the Mang Dochaa. Mang means riders in the Tamang language. This design is inspired by the Syama which are skirts woven and worn by women of the Tamang communities. The Nakha Dochaa displays Lawa fabrics, which is worn by Newars during festivals. 

Prajapati claims that it is these unique designs on their shoes that make them different from any other shoe brands in the market. Also, Dochaa lets local artisans express their creativity and skills via their products. From the manufacturing department to the marketing team, all its workers belong to the local communities. And to make sure their customers are satisfied, Dochaa has been relentless in seeing to it that the shoes manufactured are of good quality. When you buy a pair of shoes at Dochaa, you get a six-month warranty for it. 

However, the price of a pair of shoes might not be something you expect from a Made in Nepal product. The founders confess that the mindset ‘Nepali products must be cheap’ rule the market here but, given the quality and effort put into making a pair of shoes, that’s not fair, to say the least. 

“Dochaa shoes are not as simple as creating other machine-made shoes. It takes a lot of resources, patience, and hard work on the part of many people to produce a single pair. This makes its price slightly higher than other brands. But it is still quite reasonable compared to the amount people spend on high copies of other international brands,” says Prajapati adding that one can buy Dochaa shoes at The Local Project Nepal in Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur or simply visit their website to place an order. 

 

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