When we read the address of footwear brand Fizzy Goblet’s new Mumbai store, we realise that it must have been a special moment for the brand and Indian crafts. The store is located in Khar’s Linking Road, opposite a giant Nike store, establishing that a modern jutti is as important in a fashion lover’s wardrobe as an AF1.
Started in 2014 by designer Laksheeta Govil (who worked with Puma before starting her label), Fizzy Goblet is an attempt to make handcrafted Indian footwear fit for the everyday wardrobe. While Govil initially started with colourful juttis that you could wear with pants or salwar, today the brand has expanded to include heels, sliders, flats, Kolhapuris, and unique brogue- and sneaker-juttis.
In an interview with Lounge, Govil speaks about the brand’s journey and more. Edited excerpts:
While the rest of the retail world is busy scaling e-stores, you have opened five retail stores. Were there any apprehensions?
Our journey has been different from most brands as we started as an online-first brand. Not many were following a direct-to-consumer business model, and we were and are not available on any other marketplace. This gave us a chance to explore the customer’s journey, from the time they interact with us online to the purchase and allowed us to get data about where customers were coming from.
Based on this, we opened our first store at Palladium in Mumbai in 2019 and got a really good response. We opened in Delhi within six months and it gave us the confidence to open more stores. As the pandemic hit, while everyone else was focusing on Instagram and websites, we had already established and didn’t have to put additional effort into maintaining, as the groundwork was strong.
We focused online but also used this time to strategise, build and grow the team for the future, so that when things open we should be raring to go. Physical experiences are important for customers and when we opened in Noida and Bengaluru, we realised that people were just waiting to go out and interact. And shopping is therapy, you go with your friends and family, and it’s an experience to try and feel, especially with footwear. This experience can’t be replaced.
Why not sell on other online marketplaces?
Marketplaces would have an advantage of getting eyeballs, but they are regular customers and are not necessarily there for your brand. This is the essence of D2C which gets lost in other marketplaces. On our website, we know that the customer is coming for us, it helps us build more of a relationship and give a uniform experience. We are particular about positioning, we never go on sale too.
Tell us a bit about the brand’s design journey.
Juttis have always been at the core of our brand. We felt juttis were quite underrated and often associated with shoe bites and an older age group. We wanted to innovate and make them more comfortable. Because of our roots, people still associate us more with occasionwear than everyday wear and we wanted to be part of different occasions, even daily wear, and make Fizzy Goblet a one-stop shop for fun, comfortable footwear to take you through the day and night. And since we are associated with comfort, our customers are open to trying new things. That is how we created the sneaker jutti, with a rubber sole, extra padding and laces. We then added jutti brogues, heels and other styles.
What’s next for the brand this year?
We will soon launch a zodiac collection with customised jewellery charms for shoes. You can choose the silhouette you like to accessorise, and we have a limited range of necklaces where those charms can be used as pendants too.
Also Read: McLaren is now interested in streetwear