India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
November 15, 2011

Shoe-Stopper!

Text by Malvika Sah. Photographs by Sohail Anjum.

Aruna Seth can be labelled as the fairy godmother for the modern day Cinderella. Hailing from a family with a well-established shoe empire in the UK, she has successfully raised the familial business bar with the launch of her label – Aruna Seth. Her show-stopping shoes have frequently been applauded by the fashion world. More recently, she added an Indian touch to the much-hyped Royal wedding by designing bridesmaid Pippa Middleton’s shoes. Her high-end designs are now a familiar fixture on the red carpet. Handcrafted in Italy, the shoes are embellished with Swarovski crystals and Chantilly lace, making them a fashion rage amid high-flying screen divas and trendy socialites like Sophia Bush, Paris Hilton, Emily Blunt and Goldie Hawn among others. And just like in her brand, Aruna has a taste for everything plush and luxurious in her personal attire too. An alumnus of the London College of Fashion, she exudes glamour. A self-confessed shoe-addict with more than 150 pairs, Aruna acknowledges that India, with its vivid colours and myriad textures has a strong influence on her designs. Verve meets the elegant dresser at her parents’ home in Surrey…

In Step With Luxury

She exudes glamour and luxury, but what catches your attention is her unapologetic desire to be the best in the shoe business. Aruna Seth chats with Malvika Sah about her lavish designs, her love for perfection, Indian influences and her tryst with the Royal wedding…

How did couture footwear become your calling?
I’ve always aspired to design the most beautiful shoes in the world.  Being a socialite, I felt the need for more glam footwear. I have a family heritage in shoes, my father has been making them for over 40 years, and he is my biggest inspiration. I have a taste for high quality materials. Being a top shoe designer is all I’ve ever wanted to be.

What is your signature style?
The sparkly Swarovski, the cerise wedge are the Aruna Seth signature shoes. I hope to liven up traditional shoes with a bit of glamour.

What guides you more – study or instinct?
When it comes to shoe designing, I instinctively know what will work and what won’t. Of course, you have to do your homework and research to know what’s in fashion and whether a shoe will be wearable.

What was extra special about Pippa Middleton’s shoes that you designed for the Royal Wedding?
Pippa wore our silver Lynn sandal which is a silver leather strappy number touched with Swarovski crystals and a crystal butterfly.

What is the USP of your designs?
I would say the crystals and the pattern on them. We have special trims that no-one else on the market can get such as the crystal butterfly. We look at finishing every detail.

What is hot in the world of shoe designs right now?
We are gearing up for Autumn winter 2012 at the moment and we are loving the shoe boot. We feel this is a winter staple to jazz up any of your outfits. We have designed a gorgeous creamy leather black shoe-boot and it even has a detachable crystal butterfly strap so you can dress the boot up or down.

Who would you love to see wearing your shoes?
My ultimate aim would be to see Kate Middleton wearing a pair of our shoes. The Duchess of Cambridge is doing a tremendous job of looking superbly classic and hasn’t put a fashion-foot wrong. She is also doing the lovely role of supporting UK designers.

How do you switch off and unwind?
I work very long hours on my brand so the only hobbies I really have time for is shoe shopping! I also think it’s important to keep fit and healthy so I attend the gym or do a video DVD whenever I can.

Any plans of getting your label to India?
We are planning to focus more on the Indian market next year and are already starting to organise a launch party in Delhi in April. We’d love more ladies out there to see our brand firsthand.

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