Dorraj by Jarrod Grossberg – Interview

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I recently had the honour of interviewing unique and talented shoe designer Jarrod Grossberg for D-Journal Dubai about his debut collection for his brand Dorraj. Jarrod Grossberg, a graduate of the London College of Fashion re-interprets the sophistication and old-world glamour of the pre-war French Riviera into strictly limited runs of hand-made styles, which can easily be dressed up or down. His collection uniquely uses beautiful exotic skins such as python and ostrich which has been inspired by his love of travel. At the moment, Dorraj offers two classic styles in a range of colours and skins, so there’s definitely a shoe for everyone!

Enjoy! 🙂

  • Tell me little about yourself.
    • I was born in Sydney and moved to London where I graduated Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion. My biggest non-professional interest ironically turned into my career. I love to travel and admire cultural and aesthetic differences between places and people. It is these experiences that help inspire Dorraj.
  • You have been called Australia’s answer to a male Carrie Bradshaw, why do you have such an interest in shoes?
    • In my opinion shoes define a person. They’re a means of expression and can completely change how an outfit looks as well as how a person feels. I suppose my interest stemmed from this notion. I love to feel good. And look good.
  • What inspired you to turn your interest into a career and start designing shoes?
    • I found that there was a lack of quality handmade everyday shoes on the market. It was because of this that I started Dorraj.
  • What made you decide to start your own line instead of going the more traditional path of designing for an existing label?
    • Control.
  • We love that your brand is your name your backwards! Is there another reason your brand is called Dorraj?
    • Not really – I wanted a name that was unique yet not too foreign sounding. Dorraj works.
  • What are your main inspirations for your collection?
    • The 1930’s Rivera period. Slim Arrons captures a lot of this in his photography.
  • You use such exotic skins to create these beautiful shoes, tell me a little more about your brand Dorraj.
    • Exotic skins are unique, rare and beautiful, characteristics that are too reflected within Dorraj.
  • Why do you use exotic skins and material?
    • I love the texture and effect of exotic skins. The detail on every piece is unique as there are no two skins alike. And of course their quality and durability are unparalleled.

dorraj-shoe-label

  • How long does it usually take to create a piece? From inception to completion? What is the process?
    • Usually around 6 months. The designs have to be created, then the skins have to be chosen and coloured. Once this is done sampling takes place and once approved production begins.
  • Why have you chosen those two particular styles for this collection?
    • I wanted my first season to cater to both informal and formal environments.
  • What has been the most difficult part of this getting this collection from concept to completion?
    • I believe the shoe should be perfect inside and out. Sometimes aesthetic has to be compromised for comfort. Finding a healthy balance can be challenging.
  • What makes Dorraj shoes different from the rest?
    • They’re casual and cool without being overly embellished. They’re comfortable and of an extremely high quality being handmade in Italy.
  • Dorraj is being designed by a lover of shoes, rather than just from the commercial eye of a shoe designer, how do you think that affects the final product?
    • I’m a consumer designing for other consumers. I know what someone who loves shoes wants and that’s what I’ve aimed to portray in this brand.
  • Who is the Dorraj customer? What are they like?
    • The fashion conscious quality-seeking consumer. They are like what the rest of this world should be more like.
  • What are your criteria for well-constructed and well-designed shoes?
    • They have to be aesthetically pleasing, confortable and of a high-quality.
  • What do you love about your work?
    • I love it all !
  • Can you tell me about a pair of shoes you’ll never forget?
    • My first pair of Dorraj – Petrol Green Ostrich High-tops. A very proud moment.
  • If you weren’t designing shoes, what would you be doing?
    • Wearing shoes I’d be far less happy with.
  • What’s next for yourself and Dorraj?
    • Bespoke services and an accessories line.
  • Where are you selling your collection?

Dorraj luxury footwear exotic skins smoking slippers

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About Nadia

Super happy twenty-something who loves fashion, beauty, fitness and life. :)
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