We're about diving into new adventures with a trusting, humorous attitude.
Mohinders was born in 2012 when founder Michael Paratore's daydream turned into an amazing—and totally unexpected—excursion through India, searching for the source of a beloved pair of slip-ons. He quit his job as a corporate lawyer to become a shoe peddler and hasn't looked back since.
Today, we're driven by designs and materials that come with a good story. We're a team of two (Michael, plus creative director and business partner Kristen Morabito); we create distinctive products, share the Mohinders story, and keep a curious, ready-for-anything approach at the center of everything we do.
The process of making Mohinders
Mohinders are handwoven by third-generation master artisans, who use a 34-step process to craft every pair. A small batch of shoes takes several days and requires many hands. One of our favorite features, the handwoven braid that lines the edge of each shoe, is called "cavani weaving"—it holds the upper and midsole together in a long-lasting bond and can only be done by hand.
Less than 10% of leather created today is vegetable-tanned (vs. the faster, cheaper method of chrome-tanning). And nearly all veg-tanned leather is produced industrially, which is a big part of why we find Mohinders leather so remarkable: water buffalo hides are tanned by hand in small batches, by family-run operations in rural India.
This traditional method, called bag-tanning, uses minimal processing and a purely vegetable-based tanning solution: just water, acacia tree bark, and the myrobalan nut turn a raw hide into leather that's perfect for footwear. Every step is done by hand, so the process takes 30–35 days per batch and creates strong, durable leather that patinas beautifully.
Where they're made
Our shoes are made in Athani Village, India. It’s a lively, dusty town in a region that’s produced footwear for centuries. It’s quite an adventure to get there—for us it’s a flight to Mumbai, 13-hour train ride, and a bumpy drive down farm roads.
Any given day in Athani you might see a goat riding on the back of a scooter, a bustling popup leather market, or a friendly band of roaming pigs. It’s safe to say it’s off the beaten path of glamorous India, which is part of why we love it: this beautiful pair of shoes led us to unexpected origins.