Been yearning to join the slipper brigade for years, but reluctant to relinquish your well nurtured image of sophisticated cool? Fed up with finding those relaxing moments always make you feel a bit dowdy and down at heel the moment you look at your feet?
mahabis may be the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for. We tried mahabis slippers at Flux and we love them. Bringing slippers into the 21st century at last, mahabis feature detachable soles for indoor/outdoor use and a collapsible heel making them super functional as well as comfortable and good-looking.
mahabis’ style mixes Scandinavian minimalism with traditional Moroccan designs, in a shades of grey upper that you can combine with black or bright soles that are super easy to slip on or off. Reinventing the slipper market? We thought we’d catch up with brand creator, Ankur Shah, to find out about his mahabis adventure.
FLUX: What is your background in design? Have you always been based in London?
ANKUR SHAH: I’ve been based in and out of London for the last 10 years, our design, our brand, our values are heavily derived from London. I personally don’t have a background in design (I wish I did!). I’ve been very heavily involved in the design process, but equally we’ve got best in class designers both in-house and by way of collaboration. We’ve worked with people like Daniel Bailey in the past.
FLUX: There are so many products you could choose to work with. Why slippers?
ANKUR SHAH: Slippers are an age-old product, worn for centuries. They express the comfort, warmth and affection we have for home and our downtime. They have the capability to be so functional and aesthetically powerful, and yet they’ve been neglected. We felt there was no brand that really captured the values that a product like this should represent. Hence slippers! Hence mahabis!
FLUX: Did you do lots of research on slippers during the design process?
ANKUR SHAH: Lots. And lots. And then we stopped. Whilst we took influence from places as diverse as Scandinavia, North Africa and India we didn’t want to be limited by them, so at some stage you leave your influences as influences and discover what makes the brand what it is.
FLUX: I guess you’ve had loads of feedback on mahabis. Do you have any favourite comments?
ANKUR SHAH: Yes our absolute favourite is when a commenter wrote: “I’d rather walk barefoot on Lego than wear these” – I think that made everyone in the office laugh for a week. Then there was the lady who cut her mahabis up to put into her wellies…
That said, we’ve seen people wear them in/out, on the beach, in the wild, literally everywhere. It’s been amazing to see people dive in and really adopt the brand as part of their daily living. As one customer said, if her partner would let her she would wear them to bed with her. We want to be with you everywhere, silent, in the background.
FLUX: The slippers are all about relaxing. So where is your favourite place to relax yourself?
ANKUR SHAH: Feet up. Fire on.
FLUX: Do you have any plans to introduce more products to the range?
ANKUR SHAH: Absolutely, in fact the product roadmap is really exciting, but we’ll have to stay tight-lipped on that…
FLUX: I see you have some great cultural content on your website. Is the link with different cultural genres important to the brand?
ANKUR SHAH: Incredibly important. For us, our product represents a lifestyle as much as a product category. We’re focused on amplifying the importance of downtime, taking a step back in mundane moments and finding pleasure in them. Our lifestyle section helps reinforce that we’re not the only people who think that way.