Royally fabulous

Meet London-based, Indian-Jamaican shoe designer Aruna Seth who became part of fashion history when Pippa Middleton wore her creations to sister Kate Middleton’s wedding reception.

Since then her designs struck a chord with celebrities, royalty – including Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie – and those who want to feel like a modern-day princess. The key collections are based on the emblematic Farfalla butterfly. They are produced in Venice by master craftsmen using the finest materials and innovative techniques.

aruna seth

Below, we get to know more about Aruna’s brand and the challenges she faced.

What was your favourite subject at school?

History and art – I loved learning about the past, especially fashion throughout the ages.

What was your first job?

It was in banking in London. 

What inspired you to launch your own shoe brand?

My father has a shoe company so I grew up around shoes. When I was younger I used to attend all the shoe shows with my father’s company so it was very exciting to see behind the scenes of well-known brands. I also did work experience every summer in different departments from accounts to the warehouse so by the time I was at university, I already had a well-rounded knowledge of the fashion world and knew it entailed many aspects of business not just design.  

What are the key elements of your role?

Managing my team, making sure new collections are ready, speaking to buyers and  developing new business.

Talk us through your daily routine.

On a typical day in London, start the day by speaking to the factories in Italy to check in and see how production is going. I then head to my office on Sloane street where the team has a brief morning meeting to start the day. My day normally entails being in the office in the morning and then during the afternoon, I focus on meetings at the showroom or externally with potential buyers or clients for example. However, I travel a lot so my daily routine tends to differ depending where I am travelling to.

aruna seth

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Do as much research and work experience as you possibly can.

Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?

I love Ermanno Scervino for jumpers and lace skirts as it’s cold in London. I will pair them with my Farfalla sneakers which are glam but comfortable. If I have more dressy meetings, say at Annabels I will wear a long skirt with a Balmain blazer so I’m still comfortable yet smart.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?  

Check, check and triple check. When small mistakes are made in business these can accumulate to larger problems and wasted time. So, don’t be afraid to spend time making sure everything is as it should be. 

And what is the worst?

I take on board all advice; everyone has their own experiences so it’s good to have a broad spectrum.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

There have been many in business and fashion, however probably the evolution of the digital age of fashion has been the biggest. The change from bricks and mortar stores towards focusing on online presence and sales is a huge shift for the fashion industry to harness. I believe a business needs a good digital team who focuses on social media to move forward with the times and be ahead of our competitors.

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Media: Supplied