The story of Cinderella and her glass slippers is a familiar childhood fairy tale. For Hyderabad-based Sabista Khan, the name is synonymous with both dreams coming true and shoes. Her label ‘The Cinderella Story’ offers a wide variety of jutties not just to go with ethnic Indian clothes, but also quirky ones that go well with western outfits. Many Bollywood actresses, especially Kriti Sanon, Soha Ali Khan, Diana Penty, Manisha Koirala and Rhea Kapoor are quite often been seen sporting the brand.
Talking about her initial days and how she entered the shoe business, Sabista says, “I had moved to Hyderabad from Mumbai in 2015 and was initially interested in designing clothes. But after doing some research I found that there are lots of fashion designers in Hyderabad. I next thought of bringing out belts and bags, before settling for shoes.”
Sabista says initially, they were curating and reselling footwear from across the country, bringing them under one label for various pop up exhibitions. “Soon we got a lot of requests for jutties. But we wanted to design our jutties instead of curating them. Reselling didn’t satisfy my creative urge; so then I started researching and travelling to learn about jutties,” she shares.
Sabista was working in corporate communications and as a content writer till 2018, before diving into her business. “I ordered and studied about jutties to understand the issues. Fit was an issue, as some people have broad feet and jutties have a closed front. I wanted everyone to be comfortable wearing our jutties. Comfort first then style. So we treated the leather to not bite,” she explains. From February to April 2019, Sabista did a mock run and went live in April. “Lot of stylists took note of our work and included our footwear in celebrity styling and photo shoots. “Sobhita Dhulipala was the first celebrity to use one of my creations. It was for a teaser shoot of the Made in Heaven web series. I saw the teaser on my television, noticed the footwear and was completely ecstatic. The stylist had not shown me the shoot photos earlier. It was an amazing feeling,” reminiscences Sabista.
All said and done, the two-year journey has been a roller coaster ride for Sabista. The pandemic made 2020 a low period. “We were taking it slow post lockdown too, but social media helped us a lot in promoting our work,” she says. “There was immense personal growth; people took note of our work. It has been an amazing journey,” she adds. Sabista highlights the fact that technology helped her sail through the crisis. Sabista is now diversifying into sliders and mules, perfect for day-to-night look transitions. “The latest collection will have 13 pieces and will go live in May,” she announces.