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DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

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PAYAL KOTHARI – STEPPING IN STYLE

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

PAYAL KOTHARI

Clothes have trends and women love to change them seasonally. But when it comes to shoes women often have a fetish and love to collect them by the dozens. Payal Kothari, Shoe Sculptor, created her brand “Veruschka” because she was very particular about her shoes.

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

VERUSCHKA FOR PAYAL SINGHAL

“I studied footwear designing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, while working at Reuters as a Market Analyst. After the first semester, I went to school full time and graduated with a Bachelors in Accessory Design and I worked at Nina & Delman shoes on 5th Avenue. In 2005 I returned to India to launch my own brand Veruschka. Veruschka was a super model in the 1960’s that changed the way models were perceived and gave back to the society. To me not only does the name sound beautiful but it is noteworthy how the model through her charitable actions made donations to the depleting rain forests in an effort to conserve them. My brand “Veruschka” just like the model hopes to give back to the society and be known as a successful design house.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

VERUSCHKA FOR PRIA KATARIA PURI

But starting a footwear brand was no cake walk. “There were several challenges that I faced in establishing my brand. The product was accepted immediately but the backend needed much work as the footwear sector was and still unorganized. The earliest obstacle was establishing a factory with knowledge in the art of footwear design and construction. Next, the fashion fraternity had to recognize footwear as an integral part of the industry. On the front end, it was a challenge to convince women to buy good quality comfortable shoes and making them recognise its importance as the garment they were wearing.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

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Besides these teething problems Payal adds, “With almost every designer being an entrepreneur, we have to handle cash flow and financing all the production; season to season. We are still 30 years behind from the western markets, where houses were established and are now institutions. We have a long way to go and roadblocks to conquer.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

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In the midst of foreign brand competition with heavy weights like Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo and Louboutin, Payal explains, “A designer and a brand are two very different things. To me Ferragamo was a shoe designer that became a brand. Jimmy Choo is a brand that designs and makes shoes. Can I compete with a Ferragamo? I would say No, for the simple reason, since designers today would just get lost in the archives of their fashion history. On the other hand there is Jimmy Choo, which is a brand with huge financial backing. We might be able to compete with them in terms of style and design but it is almost impossible without a strong distribution for us to meet their markets.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

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Inspired by travel and architecture, production of collections has to be organised. “Due to the advent of social media, there is a need for immediate gratification among customers as they now see fashion shows live and want to own that trend immediately. We make 4 collections a year for autumn/winter/spring/summer and 2 bridal and the festive collections. Each collection has between 12-18 styles featuring stilettos, wedges, flats day and evening footwear.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

LAKA

While Payal does not have an exclusive store, she reveals, “We do sell from our studio located in South Mumbai. We have several customers, especially brides visiting us for customised shoes. This season we have launched men’s footwear and jewellery. This is also available on our website www.veruschka.in, boutique stores and other online portals.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

PAVLOVA_GOLD_A

The shoes are priced between Rs 1800-4800 for casual and Rs 4800-6800 for bridal and formal wear. When it comes to favourite cities, Payal admits, “I lived and studied in New York so that is where I left my heart. I studied advance shoe making in Florence, so I see myself retiring there if I could.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

PARIS-ETE_MODEL

When it comes to her love for food, “I absolutely love to cook. Italian, Thai and Ethiopian cuisines are my favourites. Every city I visit, I take a cooking class there, be it Vietnam, Srilanka, Italy or Greece. I am a mezze and tapas girl. Chips and dips are my thing; nothing makes me happier than a spread of several small dishes like hummus, Tzatziki, mustard and cheese, lavaash.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

Manish Malhotra Lakme Finale 2007_3

Having displayed at fashion weeks, the celebs she would like to see wearing her shoes, “In India, I would like to see Malaika Arora wear my shoes and internationally I would say Alexandra Park, who plays Princess Eleanor on the TV show, ‘The Royals’.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

TRISHA_A

When it comes to relaxing Payal says, “I can’t end my day without watching international TV shows. I do wish I watched less TV and choose something more recreational but for now I am addicted.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

POMPADOUR_A

While keeping a calm exterior in business, Payal admits she is a hot and cool tempered person. “I choose the battles I fight. Hot or cold, which ever I choose to be, both are rather intense when they do surface.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

PETAL_MODEL

Being a night person Payal confesses, “My body clock is all tuned upside town. I wake up as the sunsets.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

PAYAL KOTHARI AT LFW

Payal feels Indian women are quite informed on trends. “The Indian consumer is very educated, from social media, fashion bloggers and the fashion channels.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

DALAI_MODEL

Not much of a future planner, she states, “I do wish to be a more content person on a personal front and as far as work is concerned, I wish I am still making shoes. Not everybody has a job that is a passion. Like every business, we have happy and unhappy customers. We do try and meet expectations, but is challenging and when we falter, it is not a good day.”

DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PAYAL KOTHARI?

PAYAL KOTHARI

Payal describes herself in just 2 words – “Simply Trouble”. “I think if you have enough people to trouble in life, you probably are very loved.”

When it comes to revealing the real Payal Kothari she is secretive, “I will reveal it all in my memoires.”

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