Meet Ayush Diwan Khurana, a Delhi based footwear designer who started his journey in 2011 from the living room of his house in Defence Colony that lead to the official launch of his label Modello Domani in 2015 and today he sells pan Asia through various online shopping platforms and has two flagship stores too.
Always clad in formal wear, 27-year-old Ayush narrates his story in the fashion world as nothing less than a miracle. The student of economics from Delhi University, who went on to do a course in strategic marketing from London School of Economics, spotted the business opportunity in the shoe industry only after he came to know that the Zara shoe (loafer) he was flaunting way back in 2011 was actually manufactured in his uncle’s factory in Agra.
He recalls, “When I was enlightened about this chain of production units of these international brands in India, the idea of starting my own brand struck me and I decided to take a change and rest, as they say, is history.”
Modello Domani, recognized as a men’s footwear brand is a perfect blend of craft and creativity available at an affordable cost. Ayush says, “Since the very beginning, my motive was to create innovative stuff that strikes the young audience and they could relate to it. Touchwood, I succeeded in it and it came as a surprise when middle age group and even old age audience found it apt for their wardrobe.”
Run by a core team of 5 people Modello Domani is one of its kinds. Justifying the fact Ayush says, “For us as a team, timeliness is very critical and that’s the reason, at times, we say ‘NO’ to clients when we see that we won’t be able to deliver quality on time. It might sound rude to the world, but for us it is our sincerity towards the brand and customer too. And at times, if you visit the studio, we might find me wrapping the order, in order to save time while my other teammates are busy generating the bill for the same.” (laughs)
In the present scenario, social media is the most important aspect of marketing. But when it comes to being an entrepreneur in the fashion industry, the emphasis on social media marketing is even more. With a nod of yes Ayush states, “In the game of paid promotions and sponsored posts, I feel the organic growth is the real hero. I have always worked on organic stuff and it has given me a great response. The best part of social media is it gives you an instant and first-hand feedback. You reach a wider audience and you can connect with them on a personal basis too. And if used sensibly it is the most affordable promotion tool.
The soul of fashion lies in designs and Ayush as a creative person believes that it all stats within and further it blends with a social scenario where the end users are the ultimate judge. He affirms, “For me, understanding the need of my customers is necessary and then I observe a lot around my place and even India at large. There is so much to get inspired from and then I play it with my perspective to create a wearable art. I think this helps me to create a balance between the market demand and creative satisfaction.
Copyright of designs is a big issue of the hour. Ask him his opinion on the issue from a solution perspective and the pat reply comes, “See, to be frank, there is no solution to it. Copying and getting inspiration are two different things that people misinterpret and that is the root cause of the issue. The best way to deal with it is to ignore it. As a brand, I think, nobody can take away your creativity and that is the USP of your existence, so instead of getting into the vicious circle of the issue, I prefer nurturing myself and my skills.”
As a youth of 21st-century, Ayush believes in living in present. He gets annoyed on the query of his future plans and says “See, as a politically correct answer I would say to see the brand grown in all the senses. But, as a creative person, I wish to explore more in terms of footwear and see how I can re-define comfort along with style.”