Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300

 

Asia Correspondent

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper called it the “chappal of two cities”. How, the paper wanted to know, could a simple leather sandal, commonly available in Pakistan for just a few pounds, sell for £300 in a London designer store?

Admittedly, the sandals, or "chappal", found in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, are not exactly the same as the ones being offered by the British designer Sir Paul Smith. The pair being sold by Sir Paul, for instance, feature a pink neon trim rarely, if ever, found in those picked up in the bazaars of Peshawar.

They were also being sold under the model name “Robert”.

But to many on social media, the shoes otherwise looked pretty much the same. How could, people cried, Sir Paul have the nerve to ask £300 for the shoes and moreover, how could he not be acknowledging their Pakistani inspiration and origin?

Such was the outrage over the footwear, that people were encouraged to sign a petition at change.org addressed to Prime Minister David Cameron and Sir Paul. “If some company wants to sell these footwear, [it must] show some moral obligation and courtesy and must use its original name,” said the petition, which by Monday evening had been signed by more than 250 people.

Beyond the jokes, some believed there was a serious point to be made.

“Extraction of surplus, of labour and of ideas is an age old issue in North-South relations,” Mosharraf Zaidi, an education activist and former diplomat, told The Independent. “However, we should also never shy from owning what is ours, especially on the rare occasions when the associations are entirely positive and aesthetically universal in appeal.”

He added: “These are Peshawari chappals. Paul Smith can make all the money he wants, but he should afford us the small courtesy of calling them what they are.”  

Paul Smith failed to respond to questions today. However, it appeared that the virtual show throwing that broke over over Sir Paul’s shiny black leather sandals had made its point.

By Monday evening, the website PaulSmith.co.uk was still advertising the shoes and was still charging £300. The pink trim also remained in place. However, an all-important sentence had been added which read: “Men’s high-shine black leather sandals with neon pink trims inspired by the Peshawari chappal.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Opilio Recruitment: Product Owner

    £40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

    Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Support Administrator - Part Time

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - OTE £40,000

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding business based in ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas