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Indian Designers
PAYAL KOTHARI
 
Payal Kothari

I often meet people who've lived their dream and achieved accomplishments that would wow you. In this case it's shoe sculptor Payal Kothari who's celebrated for handcrafted (and affordable!) skyscraper shoes that ''can make your everyday experience sexy''. And if you've ever said to yourself 'I wish I could design my own pair of shoes' Veruschka has it covered.

 

The stardust begins with the name. ''People often ask why my brand is named 'Veruschka' and not 'Payal Kothari'. It's named after a model in the 1960's who was one of the first to define the term 'supermodel'. Not only does the name sound beautiful but it's noteworthy how this model through her charitable actions gave back to society and redefined how models were perceived. My brand 'Veruschka' too is trying to break out of the mould of being treated as a subordinate to apparel in the fashion industry. Veruschka aims to be the centrepiece to attire and not just an accessory'' she explains.

 

Where did the journey begin? ''Veruschka is a dream that started on the columns of geography or algebra books at school and sketched it way to Lakme Fashion Week today. Following a course in Accessory Design at Fashion Institute of Technology-New York I worked on Fifth Avenue where I designed shoes that graced the shelves of Neiman Marcus. During holidays I visited India and could not find high heel party shoes in the market! The clothing industry was saturated but shoes were an untouched market. This encouraged me to return to India where I studied the market for eight months before I launched Veruschka.''

 

It takes five artisans to make a pair of Veruschka shoes. ''The journey of our shoes start in our design studio where I make miniature sketches of shoes and use them as an Inspiration Look Book keeping in mind comfort and functionality. When I feel the story has reached completion I make life size sketches following which fabrics and hardware is sourced and we make prototypes that lead to the final samples. This goes into production once the silhouettes are perfected with several rounds of trial and error to make a shoe that is not only visually beautiful but comfortable. It is important to have someone over-look the daily operations at work which is what my partner Shubha Sethi does'' describes the shoe sculptor whose footwear is worn by Kajol and Tanisha.. Maria Goretti and Zoa Morani.. Nina Manuel and Hema Malini to name just a few.

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
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FAST FACTS

Veruschka Shoes are available at luxury stores across India as well as Italy, Japan and Dubai.

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