VAARSA literally means ‘Legacy’ is a movement to Sustain Traditional Art & Craftsmanship.
To represent and flourish the heritage art form of Kolhapuri Chappal as a global fashion icon and provide opportunities for artisans to have gainful livelihood.
Sachin Shinde and Dileep More, are the founders of Vaarsa as well as each other’s relatives. The two of us belong to the cobbler community which was once upon a time treated as untouchables in India, in fact, even now in some parts of the country. We belong to the same artisan families of craftsmen from the GI (geographical indication) region of Kolhapur, India, the place which represents the age old handcrafted Kolhapuri Chappal. Since many centuries, our forefathers have passed on the legacy of making these handcrafted Kolhapuri Chappal from one generation to another.
We believe that Education is what would transform our lives and change our current and future generations. Keeping education as our goal, we are now highly qualified, having degrees from both, India and UK. Till date, we have travelled to a lot of places and have realized that any product that is made by hand is highly appreciated in the international market and has a very high value.
Most Luxury Brands proudly say that they have a legacy of 50,100,150 or max 200 years. They are proud of their work and the value they have created as a luxury brand, their product is sold at the highest value at the highest level in global fashion hence the craft and artisans are flourishing till date. Vintage is recognized and is valued around the world. No matter how old the trend is, it always comes back in circles.
In the case of Kolhapuri Chappal, it is the most Intricate Footwear Art form in the World which is an 850+ years old original Indian design icon, but yet, it has not been able to reach the global fashion market and create its value as a luxury product. If the same product would have been made by an artisan from Italy or western world, he would proudly sell it for several thousand dollars as a luxury product because they value their craftsmanship, history and tradition.
There are two main reasons that till date the people working on this heritage product did not believe in its potential as a global fashion icon. They did not even have the education and exposure to make it big and most of them still aren’t so educated to take the art form ahead. Second is every Family in the village makes these chappals, hence every household produces a unique design and there isn’t one unifying platform or a brand where these artisans can work as a cluster and take this craft on a global platform.
We believe that “When the World is behind the next big things, you come back to your roots”. We want to take our ancestral and historical art from of making Kolhapuri chappal on the highest global platform and make sure it gets the value it deserves as our legacy is of more than 850+ years than any fashion brand in the world. This is the main reason and idea that made motivated us to start this project we now call – “Vaarsa” which means legacy.