What’s a better reason for starting your own shoe brand than because you just really love shoes? Born in Sydney and graduating from London College of Fashion, Jarrod Grossberg admits to having something of a shoe fetish – in fact, he owns over four hundred pairs. He’s pretty much Australia’s answer to a male Carrie Bradshaw, dedicating an entire room to laying out loafers, trainers and boots on an array of (what we imagine to be perfectly lit) shelving.
It was almost inevitable that this fascination with fine footwear would one day be transformed in to Grossberg’s own brand, Dorraj, which will be launching this autumn/winter. Combining inspiration from his extensive travels spanning Bombay, Bangkok and Florence with his appreciation of the bold, simple lines of Art Deco, the brand is built around simple, comfortable styles using the best exotic skins.
Interestingly, Dorraj is coming from the angle of being designed by a lover of shoes, rather than from the commercial eye of a shoe designer; as such, the first collection comprises of two styles that Grossberg describes as “distinctive but also timeless, wear-anywhere styles”. From his extensive knowledge of shoes gained from years of browsing, pondering and buying, Grossberg says that “if I had to boil all shoe models down to two quintessential styles, it would be these two”.
The styles in question are a low-heeled, leather-soled smoking slipper in ostrich with a metal mesh tassel – set to be a staple silhouette every season – and a hi-top sneaker in suede and ostrich on a slim-line black rubber sole. Both styles will feature the brand’s blue metal monograph tab on the sole or heel; blue being the brand’s signature colour, echoed throughout the packaging and branding.
Each shoe is Italian-made (in the heart of Milan, no less) and hand-crafted, developed to an “extreme degree” to ensure it is long-lasting and will maintain its shape, whilst also staying soft and comfortable.
For the first season, Dorraj shoes will be available exclusively on-line at dorraj.com, shipping globally. Every customer will receive official documentation ensuring them that the skins used to make their shoes comply with all legal parameters regarding sourcing and good animal husbandry.