Heel & Buckle’s prêt label Berleigh
By : | May 8, 2017

Payal Bathija, the CEO of Heel & Buckle Luxury Pvt. Ltd. guides LuxuryNext’s readers on how to put your best foot forward fashionably in an exclusive interview.

 

 

 

 

  1. How and when did the Dar Group acquire Heel & Buckle Pvt. Ltd.? 

After running Heel & Buckle Pvt. Ltd. in India successfully for 3 years, we were looking at expanding and introducing newer brands to the Indian market. That is when we decided to join hands with the DAR Group from Delhi in 2016. And that is how Heel & Buckle Luxury Pvt. Ltd. was formed as a subsidiary to The DAR Group.

DAR Group now comprises over 20 businesses, in diverse sectors including hospitality, aviation, hydroponics, housing, manufacturing and now luxury fashion with the launch of Berleigh in 2017, in order to provide the best in luxury footwear to the Indian market. The knowledge of the aspirational lifestyle industry, curated collectively by the DAR Group & Heel & Buckle Luxury Pvt. Ltd. means Berleigh is expertly placed to serve customers who crave the finer things in life.

 

 

  1. Tell us something about Berleigh?

Berleigh is a luxury multi-brand footwear and accessories retailer, bringing together the finest products from celebrated brands around the world, supported by attentive customer service to enhance your shopping experience.

Our fashion experts scour the globe to identify and hand-select every item, calling on top, trusted names in the fashion industry, always striving to provide the best selection. We make a point of ensuring every brand we carry has a history of using the finest materials when crafting their products.

Inspired by our customers’ love of international travel, we select products that are on trend with the latest fashion fads. Our range of brands is constantly changing to reflect the demands of our customers, resulting in collections that are unmatched in their style, elegance and quality.

 

  1. Name some of the labels you play stockist to?

The multi-brand concept allows for a variety of different tastes to be catered to. For the more glamour-oriented Badgley Mischka collections to the elegantly sophisticated and understated Andres Sendra masterpieces and modern and charming, yet utterly dependable quirky shoes from Duke + Dexter or luxuriously fabulous shoes from Magnanni, the idea that our product range spans a whole variety of characteristics gives us an opportunity to provide the best to our customers.

At Berleigh, we give utmost importance to shoe care and after sales service. Apart from just footwear, we retail accessories for men like shoe trees, shoe horns, polishes, etc. to help keep the shoes in a good condition. And for women, we offer a wide array of clutches to select from.

All these brands are from different parts of the world like Alamansa in Spain, London in The United Kingdom and California in The United States of America.

  1. In a market saturated with luxury shoes labels, what is the USP of Berleigh?

Noticing a gap in the market for a bridge-to-luxury label catering to both men and women, I chose to implement an idea that revolved around crafting and sourcing accessories that would be introduce a a foot couture label that is synonymous with understated elegance. Through this multi-brand footwear concept label, we endeavoured to curate a collection of brands that rises above and beyond mere transient fashion.

Each collection is hand-selected catering to the specific markets we operate in. We make ensure every brand we carry has a history of using the finest materials when crafting their products. For instance, the entire Andres Sendra collection is personally designed by our design team and manufactured by them for Berleigh.

We also offer bespoke concierge service to enhance the level of customer’s shopping experience at Berleigh. The home service is a guided tour of what best suits your style, shoe care process and what goes into handcrafting the shoes. A sales specialist takes you through a range of shoes available in various colors in your size at your choice of location and makes shopping all the more convenient and luxurious.

  1. Tell us about Berleigh’s bespoke services?

Another USP of Berleigh is personalisation on products by Duke + Dexter and Andres Sendra. Fresh custom engraving can be made on special request. Anything you want, like your name or a statement even an image can be engraved on the sole and foot beds of Andres Sendra shoes.

Duke + Dexter specialises in premium loafers and fusing traditional styles with colours, textures, prints and motifs of the wearer’s  choice that helps them stand out. You can add a personalised touch by getting you initials printed on the beautifully crafted loafers.

Andres Sendra
  1. Is the average Indian male ready to wear bespoke shoes?

Yes, Indian men are more open to experimenting and looking good than ever before. Having their initials or an image engraved is a fun and quirky way to elevate their style game.

  1. What is the profile of the consumer that drops into Berleigh?

A Berleigh gentleman is someone who is well-travelled and read. Knows the importance of luxury in life and enjoys finer things in life. He understands the intricate details, craftsmanship and quality in a product. For him it is about the overall experience he gets while he makes a purchase. Similarly, our female audience is also someone who is well travelled and read. She enjoys exclusivity and loves to stand out in the crowd.

  1. What is the starting price of the shoes at the store?

For men, the shoes start at approximately Rs. 22,000 and for women, it is Rs. 12,000.

  1. Do you have any personal favourites?

Me along with my entire team, we have been living these brands day in and day out since the past many months. Now that we see the store up-and-running with all the products displayed, it is a great feeling. All of them are our favorites, but if I have to pick, I would definitely pick the Badgley Mischka Metallic Evening Shoe. These stunning shoes are perfect for completing a graceful evening ensemble. An intricate strap design that’s encrusted with crystals elegantly covers the top of the foot. They also feature simple straps across the toes and at the back of the ankle to keep your foot firmly in place without distracting from the striking design.

 

  1. Why was India the first choice for Heel & Buckle’s first prêt service?

The Indian footwear industry has changed remarkably in the last five to ten years. It is an emerging market and the international players are still in the process of exploring this market. As consumers are becoming increasingly exposed to international trends, the product offering has also changed significantly. With more and more international players coming in, the competitive landscape is more exciting – pushing us to think of different ways to reach out to our customer. Over the last two decades there has been a marked difference in the mind-set of the Indian consumer. More and more consumers are now looking to invest in high-quality, well-made products.

Indians are well travelled and due to this exposure, they have an understanding in the quality of products. They are willing to spend on quality rather than quantity. Customer’s tastes have reached a level of refinement where the mere brand name is not enough to sell them the product. The smaller details, the in-store experience, the quotient of how unique your product offering is and the quality of the product is of growing importance.
This understanding of the Indian market motivated us to enter this market and offering our products to a newer set of audience.

  1. Is this store going to be a standalone or can we expect more stores in the near future? Where?

We have full plans to take Berleigh brand to more cities across India in combination with a global expansion strategy. As of now, this is our flagship store and soon you will see another store in Delhi. We will also be launching our e-commerce platform making Berleigh available to people across the country.

  1. What are your future plans for the labels?

The next year is bound to see a lot more visibility for the brand, with a growing base of patrons, increased number of retail locations and amplified brand recognition and amplified brand recognition.

For someone who began his media career as a freelance journalist, Nolan Lewis is now quite convinced that life as a media hack isn’t as glamorous as it is made out to be. Over a year of living life in the fast lane, late night networking events and crazy deadlines writing for, and editing magazines later, he has added the digital media to his portfolio and is now Consulting Editor (Digital) for Eat Stay Love and Blackbook magazines.