Earlier this week we made our way to TriBeCa to attend the exclusive debut of new men's footwear and accessory brand Paul Drish. They celebrated by having their entire collection on hand, including all sizes for guest to try on and make purchases. Our personal favorites were the "Joel Derby" shoes, which have woven leather mixed with classic nappa leather for a look our "Hopeless Romantic" would swoon over. For bags, we would recommend the "Jacob Bowling Bag," which comes in classic black or brown leather, sleek enough to carry around with you day and night.
While being treated to cocktails by Milano Green Vodka, we noticed a shoe shining station and took one look at our loafers and knew we had to wait in line. The engaging and affable Blake from John Allan's Premier Mens' Grooming Club shined every pair to perfection while mentioning that the Grooming Club is a one-stop-shop for mens grooming: haircuts, shaves, manicures, shoeshines, and more. With various locations throughout NYC and in Beverly Hills, we suggest that all of our "labeled" men take a stroll in there.
The star of the night - along with the products - was Paul Drish co-founder Arveena Ahluwalia. We managed to get a few words in with her about the products along with the amusing history of the brand.
Labeling Men: How did the line start?
Arveena Ahluwalia: It started two years ago when I fractured my foot and I was on bed rest for two months, [during] which I couldn't walk properly. I was talking to my uncle who made shoes, the owner of "Drish India," and he said he will bring me back to my feet. He made me the most comfortable and stylish pair of shoes, which actually helped me get walking again...
L.M: That is so nice of him!
A.A: As it happened, I was walking amazingly and had no issues with my feet. A lot of my male colleagues were asking me what I was doing to walk again and were telling me about how many feet issues that they had. They would request me to make a pair of shoes for them. After hearing this time and time again, I talked to my uncle and we decided to co-found Paul Drish. We make our own brand where we make the most stylish, yet comfortable shoes on the American market.
L.M: So why did you decide to do menswear as opposed to women's? Was that because of your uncle?
A.A: No, it was because I was surrounded by all male colleagues in the bank world and they would tell me all the time, "Please make us a pair of shoes!" It was really a natural progression to start with a men's line and we will introduce our women's line next year.
L.M: Tell us about the technology that is in them, because everybody that is trying them on is saying how amazingly comfortable they are.
A.A: So that is actually a trade secret...But just to let you know, we go to the extent that we look at every millimeter that goes into every specific detail of every shoe. So this is not just another shoe; every detail has been looked into, which will make a difference in the way that you walk. That is why our shoes will look nice, they look sleek, they look chic and style based, however they cater to the Double "E" American width, which is a trade secret on how we manage to accomplish good-looking narrow shoes that accommodate that width.
L.M: It's great, guys really won't sacrifice fashion or comfort and you merged the two...
A.A: Exactly! We saw a huge hole in the market, where you couldn't find stylish yet comfortable shoes at a good price point but good quality shoes. We fill that hole in the market.
Shop the collection exclusively at www.pauldrish.com.