DUBAI: Year after year, Global Village has proved that there’s something for everyone. This year, a Moroccan shoemaker has taken this premise to a new level by making customised shoes.
The talk of the town for his personalised Baboosh range, Ibrahim Lashgar from Fes in Morocco is a huge hit in the Moroccan pavilion.
In what is a thoroughly enjoyable interactive experience, customers can get a brand new pair of leather shoes, made from scratch, with colourful tassles or creative buttons of their own choice.
Lashgar, who has been in the shoe making industry for many years, claims his designs are authentic. Baboosh, he explains, are traditional slippers without quarters or heels, worn in the Middle East. But what makes his range special is that he tailors the traditional footwear to suit modern tastes.
“Firstly, you select your shoe size. Then you can pick the inner and outer material of the shoe. I have many new lines of leather material that come in every day, so there is always a new selection to choose from. Once the material is chosen, I sew the inner material to the leather and then together, we go about decorating the top with tassles, buttons etc in whatever pattern the customer wants,” Lashgar said.
He said traditionally, the shoes are meant to match the colour and design of the person’s kaftan in Morocco. But variations are also popular.
Lashgar employs hand-made tools such as a sheep’s horn for the shoemaking process. The sharp tool, he adds can last up to 40 years, unlike modern machine-made tools.
He said he usually uses leather and other natural materials. But sometimes, he also creates shoes with offbeat items like old denims.
“My shoes are made for both men and women,” he said.
With a good customised pair taking around three-four hours to make, he said people come to him at the outset of their visit, place their order and then do the rounds of the village. By the time they are done, their customised shoes too are done.
Lashgar said each pair costs Dh150-200 and value for money as they are authentic, fashionable, personalised and highly durable.