The lost art of the traditional artisan is rediscovered in Fijian-based company, Dahia Shoes. Owned and staffed by Pacific Islanders, the key to this footwear brand’s success is it’s craftsmanship showcasing the Pacific culture and materials in their ethically run business that supports the local island community.
Dahia began in 1914, when Indian mirgrant, Dahia Hasji settled in Suva, Fiji and set up a workshop to continue his family’s traditional business of manufacture and sale of handmade shoes. It’s now managed by his grandsons and runs from a larger purpose built factory, committed to producing footwear of international quality and styling with a uniquely Pacific Island character.
“We work to maintain and enrich our traditional crafts while bringing important income to village economies. All decorative items are hand made by village craftspeople or local small businesspeople, using natural renewable materials. We also ensure that all manufacturing employees and suppliers of artwork receive better than average pay and working conditions for their country.”
Headed by Mahendra and Sarah Dahia, the design team believes that the importance of old fashioned craftsmanship is not diminished by using the best of what is new. By keeping abreast of global fashions they can also offer trendy, constantly evolving styles too.
“We also consider comfort and practicality to be of equal importance to fashion. Durable and waterproof leathers and materials are meant for hard wear as well as good looks. Our shoes are designed with wide lasts and adjustable straps to allow long periods of wear without discomfort. Linings are breathable leather, and large sizes to fit Islander feet are part of our standard range.”
Features for 2012/13 summer range
Neoprene sandals waterproof, rubber soled, brightly coloured & beautiful. Ideal for the teenage fashion market & for beach resort wear.
Tropical florals to keep the pacific rainforests at your feet.
Fijian Bark cloth stenciled cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree, hand produced and painted in designs produced specifically for our shoes by Ms Igatolo Latu, a tapa painter from the island of Moce. Our tapa is specially treated to make it durable & waterproof.
Magimagi a traditional cord braided from coconut husks. In many areas the fibres are rolled on the thigh (the equivalent of spinning) before being plaited. Ouch!
Visit Dahia on stand #5554 at the Australian Shoe Fair from February 12-14.