With the ever-increasing speed of the development of technology, we sometimes tend to neglect the beauty of things that are built and created using old school techniques; techniques such as the art of hand-knitting or even hand-stitching.
The Old World values, for much too long, have been thrust into the backdrop, with machine-made sleeker designs taking center stage.
Markhor, project started by Waqas Ali as a Kickstarter campaign, intends to bring back the 1800 year old craftsmanship of fashionably handcrafted shoes, loafers, and chappals.
Waqas Ali, from Okara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with his now co-founder, Sidra Qasim, now having raised more than $100,000 for their campaign, began his in journey in 2001, with a small digital media agency that helped small-scale businesses expand their customer reach.
Only after meeting a brilliant shoemaker, who showed exquisite craftsmanship in a small village, he realized that the art of making hand-crafter shoes needed saving.
The two partners set out on a task of safeguarding this dying breed of technically gifted craftsman, while also making their hand-crafted shoes available to the world, and helping communities in Pakistan by providing jobs to these skilled workers.
Waqas Ali has been quoted as saying:
“I was thrilled to see the quality of craftsmanship where they were doing everything manually with hands and it was ending up in beautiful shoes, but they had their unique challenges. There was very little demand for their products in the local market mainly because of a flood of mass-produced, cheap quality shoes and the craftsmen had no way to reach out to customers who would pay them a fair price.”
Initially, Waqas started selling the shoes in relatively small quantities around the world. He then took to crowd-funding to give Markhor the boost it needed.
His plan was to reach $15,000 in a short time, but he successfully raised more than $60,000 with more than a month to spare of his set deadline.
Reaching the goal of $50,000, Markhor aims to use the money to give back to the needy community by employing 10 full-time shoemakers, providing them with health and other social benefits.
The premium quality shoes produced under the Markhor banner are epitomes of beauty and finesse. From hand-stitched leather to the perfectly sleek modern designs, the shoes are works of art. The luxurious look, coupled with the brilliant craftsmanship, call for a hefty price tag, with the Markhor shoes having an expected retail of $275.
Waqas Ali also said that the shoes are made for “the courteous, polite, and honorable man who opens doors, waits for the woman to be seated first, is on time, one who is attentive to detail and sincere to the things he loves. At Markhor, we pride ourselves on the art of being a gentleman.”
Take a look at the Video here:
For more information on their shoes, visit their website TheMarkhor.