During the LakmÃ© Fashion Week 2019, Juveca Panda was at the top. Olympic medalist PV Sindhu had carried his mark, MisFit Panda shoes. For someone who had been in the artificial intelligence world for over a decade before launching MisFit Panda, this was a big win.
A computer science and cognitive science graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, Juveca returned to Mumbai in 2010. âI wanted to do something different and I didn’t want a regular office job,â Juveca said. His history.
She worked in the distribution segment with Diesel for two years, where she became a buyer of women’s clothing and accessories in India. âI loved the dynamics of the retail space where you always interact with multiple people. I wanted to do more, âadds Juveca.
Her first business was a women’s fashion clothing brand. âAs I worked on the collection, season after season, and sold the product in department stores, I realized it wasn’t for me,â Juveca explains.
Meanwhile, her love for shoes played out by digging deep to understand space. Juveca found that most of the products were aimed at the Indian or Indo-Western clothing market and the trends did not match global trends.
âWestern brands have positioned themselves to be expensive and inaccessible,â she explains, adding that there was a large market of young professionals growing, ambitious and able to use new trends. This led to the birth of MisFit Panda in 2017.
âAt first I went to the markets myself and my mother was an integral part of the trip. I would go to local markets to find out about materials and costs etc. And I would see what’s new, and that would inspire me. We started small as a passionate project, and soon we started attracting the biggest online shoppers like Koovs and Ajio, âsays Juveca.
Soon a few designers approached the team to make their shoes. Indeed, the brand collaborated with a designer to make his solo show in 2019.
Since MisFit Panda is a PETA approved vegan brand, it ensures that the right materials are sourced. At present, the brand designs its products in-house and has them manufactured in different parts of India and the world.
MisFit Panda offers flats, sneakers and heels, priced at around Rs 1,500 on average on its website and other marketplaces.
He is also experimenting with different types of design patterns. âFor example, we have consumer collections that use laser cut 3D embroidery. The idea is to create a premium yet affordable collection, âshe says.
âEven today, everything we use is handpicked. We look at multiple aspects, what today’s young working class is looking for in a product and can we look at some unique designs. We are also working in partnership with several local businesses, âadds Juveca.
She believes that this concentration has allowed the brand to present its personal exhibition. In fact, it was the first time they could represent the brand independently.
According to an Avendus report, India’s D2C business to be worth $ 100 billion in five years. The country has up to 600 D2C brands – a number that will grow dramatically over the next five years – and more than 16 brands with annual sales of over $ 60 million.
MisFit Panda is one of several growing D2C brands in India and competes with footwear brands such as Pastels and Pop, Paaduks, Fizzy Goblet, etc.
âThe idea is to continue to create excellent products in the footwear industry. To all the young girls who want to do something on their own, I would say, have an idea that you believe in and work towards making it happen. Do all the work and research it takes, and nothing can stop you, âconcludes Juveca.