Aruna seth, Creative Director & Founder of Aruna Seth shoes.
Your career began in investment banking, what made you decide you wanted to create your own shoe brand?
Working in Morgan Stanley was great for learning business efficiency and how a big company works. Since I have a family heritage of over 60 years in shoes and my own personal shoe collection of 150 pairs, starting my own shoe brand seemed like a logical step! I studied a course in footwear design at London College of Fashion. I spent a year in the factories in Italy creating the collection and then the Aruna Seth brand was launched.
Having your father in the same business must have been such a support. What was the best advice he gave you when starting your brand?
With a fashion brand, perseverance is key. It takes time and energy to build a brand up. You need to keep going and build your following, develop your designs and make your own network. We have persevered in building an international client base for our shoes as we’ve marketed the brand in Asia and the US. We’ve also persevered with celebrities and seen the likes of Kate Hudson wearing our designs on the Red Carpets!
What inspires your collections? I travel at least twice a month to different locations and I carry a note-book with me. Often the shoes are inspired by the places I visit. I am half Indian, India is always a great place to visit to take in the vivid colours, jewels and crystals to inspire my next shoe collections. It is also a great place to learn about fabrics and the ladies in India have tonnes of occasions to wear great shoes to. A couple of other shoes have been inspired by different things – The Venus shoe is inspired by the Red Carpets, we took inspiration from Celebrities who like wearing super high sexy heels to elongate their legs on the Red Carpets. The glamour of the red carpets! The Candy shoes were inspired by wanting a heel and another signature look to the Aruna Seth brand to establish ourselves in the world of designers alongside Manolo Blahnik.
What is your typical work style?
I am running around a great deal carrying shoe boxes, so in the day-time I usually like to be comfortable. I’ll be wearing leggings and jeans but I always have a blazer handy to make everything look smarter. In the evening I am a big fan of investing in good, long-lasting dresses so you’ll probably catch me dressed up to the nine’s with a good pair of Aruna Seth shoes at The Art’s club networking with clients.
Which item from The Fold would feature in your working wardrobe?
I love the Westbourne dress in Plum, it is the perfect dress for day with a pair of ballerina flats and then to dress up in the evening with a lovely pair of heels and jewellery.
What has been the most exciting moment for you since starting your company?
Pippa Middleton wore our Aruna Seth Lynn silver strappy sandal on the day of the Royal Wedding day. It was an iconic moment seeing her wearing our shoes with her Green Temperley dress. It is always exciting seeing celebrities on the Red Carpets wearing the shoes, it was what the brand was born for.
Who would you love to design a shoe for?
I’d love to design a shoe for Kate Middleton, she is the quintessential UK style Queen! I guess with the new baby George, we’d have to design a comfortable shoe for her to wear all day long especially for baby duties. All of our shoes have a special plush leather cushioned padding in the sole giving cashmere like comfort to feet anyways. Pippa Middleton is already one of our biggest fans of the range and has several pairs so seeing her sister in a pair would be fantastic.
Aruna wears The Mercer Dress in Midnight Blue and Black