Foot-in-style syndrome

Shoe designer Payal Kothari talks about her collection, Lotus Sutra, which is part of her diffusion line, Varq, to be launched this month

Q. Tell us about your latest collection.
A. My latest collection is called Lotus Sutra, created for my new diffusion line Varq, which will be launched at the end of this month. The collection is inspired by the organic roots of life. In an age of technology where one forgets to connect with oneself and the realities of life, this collection exudes freedom of movement and inspires one connect with the soul of the earth. Varq will also showcase a new line of handbags. I am also launching an e-commerce website this month.

Payal Kothari

Q. You have worked as a market analyst at Reuters-New York. How did you decide to be a shoe designer?
A. I always find the task of finding that perfect pair of shoes tedious. When I decided to study fashion, the accessory design programme stood out. After taking just one class on shoe design, I knew this was my calling. I quit my job as a market analyst at Reuters-New York and enrolled for a degree program in Accessory Design at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. On graduating, I worked at a 5th Avenue-based footwear brand called Nina & Delman. I came to Mumbai in 2008 and launched Verushka.

Q. You take inspiration from travel. How do you capture the essence of a place into a shoe?
A. A lot of precision goes into making a comfortable shoe. Along with the aesthetic appeal, the composition of a shoe is equally important. I take inspiration from architecture and form. I study the culture, designs and colours of a city. Each shoe is named after an element that inspired me to create that shoe. It could be name of a drink, a lace I saw in Burano, Italy or the tribes of Africa.

A shoe from Payal Kothari’s collection

Q. Do you remember the first shoe you made?
A. The first shoes I created were wooden clogs with multi-colour straps. I wore them very proudly all across New York!
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