Lifestyle shoes are basically the mediator between sports and formal shoes. In recent times, where style is being shaped by comfort, these shoes have taken a major leap in the fashion realm due to their versatility and functionality.
From the urge to cater to the fashion enthusiast youths with quality lifestyle footwear at an affordable price, KJ, an online-based footwear brand started its journey nearly four years ago.
KJ is the brainchild of Khan Jamshed (the initials make the brand's name), an alumnus of the Independent University of Bangladesh, who always wanted to be a fashion entrepreneur. In early 2018, when Khan was just a sophomore, he realised the inadequacy of lifestyle footwear in the market.
"We have our running shoes, date night stilettos, wedding heels, flip-flops, slip-ons, weightlifting shoes perhaps, but we do not have many options when it comes to casual footwear for everyday life," said Khan.
Hence, he decided to build a brand that would make casual, chic and comfortable shoes.
Initially, KJ started with only men's footwear. In 2018, the brand debuted with its signature loafer collection. Gradually they launched collections for women, starting with flat sandals. This year, KJ launched women's heels as well.
All the footwears are solely designed by Khan who loves to play with fabrics like corduroy, velvet, etc. These materials are elegant as well as comfortable. Minimal embellishments (mostly embroidery and mirror work) are done on traditional sandals.
Currently, KJ has two manufacturing factories in Chattogram, one for men's footwear and the other for women's.
According to Khan, all the products of KJ are entirely handmade and environment-friendly. From cutting to moulding, glueing to embellishing, everything is done by around 23 in-house artisans.
Other than some ornamental stones, artificial leather, and specific fabrics, all the raw materials required are sourced locally. The shoes are made in six different sizes.
The price of men's sandals ranges from Tk1000 to Tk1200. KJ's classic loafer collection's price starts from Tk1900. Women's sandals start from Tk800.
The brand has more than 180 active designs that can be ordered through its website or Facebook page. Besides targeting the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, the brand has already introduced a new collection with 60 more designs.
"In this Eid collection, we have prioritised monochromatic looks with basic colours like brown, blue and black," said Khan, adding, "The solid appearance of these colours gives the shoes a sumptuous look."