9-Aruna Sheth_A4 Temp 05/07/2013 11:43 Page 9
Whether Asian or not, it is a tough business to break into runa Seth has been the owner of her luxury shoe brand for about four years. Originally studying at the prestigious London College of Fashion, she has developed to her business over the years, gaining international recognition. Being a child of a father who is Indian, and mother who is Jamaican means that she shares the tastes of both cultures. Frequently visiting her family home in New Dehli has kept her in touch with her Indian heritage and has influenced much of her work as a designer. With a brief career in Investment Banking and a family heritage in shoemaking for 40 years, she has gained inspiration from her father and has been able to develop her business acumen and efficiency. Aruna believes that her father has worked incredibly hard all his life, in order to construct a successful shoe empire. “My father encouraged me to work within the company from a young age. I was selling other children's trainers at school and in the office around designers”. With her father as her inspiration, Aruna Seth developed the same kind of work ethic. “I can always ask my Dad for advice on anything from the finances of the business to the design of the shoes”. She spent much of her childhood visiting factories around the world, which later led her to work in her father's warehouses and factories over the summer holidays, helping with shoe orders. “It is a tough business to break into whether your Asian or not”. Fashion requires you to “preserve your brand” and it is hard having to continuously push for buyers, celebrities and journalists. However, she recognises that having an Asian background has contributed to her success, because she receives constant support from the community and the press within it. Her Indian background has a profound influence on her designs too. “India has a strong influence on my designs, the colours and crystals are so vivid in this country, you can't help but think about them when you design.” Starting in the height of the recession and being a new brand can always be a lit-
tle “tough”. Major brands such has Jimmy Choo and Louboutin have both been active and popular for many years, and fashion editors began to comment that it was time for a new brand to be on the scene. “The quality of our shoes speaks for itself.” The major breakthrough point for the brand into the fashion industry arrived when Pippa Middleton was seen wearing the “now infamous silver lynn sandal with a green Temperley dress” at the Royal Wedding day. “It was great because this image of Pippa made it into so many publications and our brand recognition grew internationally.” Whilst receiving orders from clients abroad, they also broke into the shoe boudoir in Harrods. Aruna recalled that her earliest encounter with fashion came when she was playing with her mother's shoes. “She had a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes with butterflies on them.” This is where the inspiration for the signature white stone butterfly design attached to every shoe and bag emerged from. As designers, Aruna Seth likes to differentiate themselves from others, because of the special padding in their shoes being the USP for their brand. The shoes are not only glamourous, but also provide cashmere like comfort for feet. Goldie Hawn wore Aruna Seth's Cinderella shoes covered with 3,000 Swaroski crystals to a Nine Film Premiere in New York in 2009, impressed with the comfort factor, commented saying: “The minute I put them on, I did not want to take them off. They are so comfortable... and for evening shoes, that's saying a lot.” There have been many highlights for Aruna Seth during her career from appearing on E! News and being interviewed by Catt Sadler at Corinthia Hotel, seeing Pippa Middleton wear their to attending the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles. A great deal of focus has been on the US in the past few years for the brand, however they are now looking towards Asia, as they love to shop there! “The butterfly is a sign of good luck out in Asia, so this has certainly helped to promote the brand and sales!” Aruna Seth is keen to build a classic brand which stands the test of time!
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