Çaplait Shoes, founded in 2017 by Usman Manzoor exists to bridge the gap between heritage and modernity, to fuse ethical manufacturing with a directional style and to broaden the horizons of artisanal handcrafting through the creation of a luxury Peshawari chappal.
We continue to see the Peshawari chappal gain traction through cultural appropriation played out by global fashion brands. Most recently, Christian Louboutin received backlash having failed to represent the Peshawari Chappal authentically, which similarly happened with British Designer Paul Smith back in 2014 after creating his own pair of the traditional shoe under the name ‘Robert’, both received backlash for portraying a lack of cultural sensitivity.
Çaplait pays homage to its heritage and culture by celebrating and answering the need for authenticity within the fashion landscape, with a focus on drawing a firm line between the shoe and its origin, Usman Manzoor launched Çaplait with the help of an esteemed, internationally renowned design team. Usman sought to bring the style to life for a wider audience without losing touch with the driving cultural foundations. Acknowledging that It is traditionally a man’s shoe, the team worked together to translate their sandals over to a womenswear perspective, employing embroidery, texture and colour contrasts to provide a fresh and unique appeal.
The traditional shoe is renowned for being hard wearing and inherently comfortable. Pakistani men have long considered the shoe a stalwart, pairing it with traditional attire for generations. The chappal can be identified by the signature tongue, squared toes, flat soles, cross-over straps and buckle fastening. Worn both formally and casually, the shoe’s versatility, coupled with the rich heritage plays into the western fashion industry’s enchantment with traditions beyond their shores.
The brand is firm rooted in Pakistan, drawing upon the talents of local artisans in order to create each pair. Çaplait respects and repays its heritage at every turn, right down to the name (pronounced ‘Saplay’) which nods to the handle given to the shoes by locals. The considerately built production model reveals a practical and active commitment to the area, from preserving a craft which has been passed between generations, to providing fair pay and ethical working conditions for the artisans around whom the brand is build and inspired by.