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The secret shoe elves

Fashion designers shine bright in the limelight at fashion weeks across the country. But adding an essential finishing touch to their clothes are footwear designers. Dhara Vora chats with three such creative heads, who help top-notch designers put their best fashionable foot forward

WE first spotted their wonderfully-finished shoes for men, at fashion designer Sanjay Hingu’s show at the city’s premier Fashion Week. Before that, their transparent PVC brogues for Karan Johar’s fashion collaboration with Varun Bahl caught everyone’s eye.

Aeiman Jarwala and Karan Berry of a.k.a. bespoke
Karan Berry and Aeiman Jarwala were both students at LS Raheja in the city, where Jarwala studied bag designing. Berry further pursued Cordwainers Footwear Design from London College of Fashion.

PVC brogues for Karan Johar and Varun Bahl’s show
PVC brogues for Karan Johar and Varun Bahl’s show

Berry shares the experience of their very first ramp outing, “Our work was spotted by the stylist of Karan and Varun’s show and we created 40 pieces within a week.”

Aeiman Jarwala and Karan Berry of a.k.a. bespoke

Post this, the duo has catered to designers such as Priyadarshini Rao, Anand Kabra, Kallol Datta, Rahul Mishra, Sneha Arora or Masaba Gupta. While we are currently lusting after their tasselled Kolhapuris for kids, one of their major collaborations was with veteran fashion designer Ritu Kumar to create her first-ever footwear collection.
Log on to www.facebook.com/pages/aka-bespoke/329777270375531

Payal Kothari of Veruschka
When you think of festivity, Payal Kothari’s high-heeled sandals are a personification of all that sparkle. And it’s her merger of Indian and Western aesthetics that has worked wonders for her collaborations with designers, such as Manish Malhotra and Vikram Phadnis.

Payal Kothari’s heels add oomph to the models walking for Pria Kataaria Puri
Payal Kothari’s heels add oomph to the models walking for Pria Kataaria Puri

“I don’t just believe in using an Indian border and finishing the design. The silhouettes of my shoes are very Western, especially well-constructed high heels and structured heels. But the embellishment is through motifs of Indian embroidery,” says Kothari.

Payal Kothari’s heels add oomph to the models walking for Pria Kataaria Puri

The 35-year-old designer was originally based out of the US, but has been catering to Indian audiences for the last five years. Other than working with a host of designers such as Payal Singhal, Rina Dhaka and Pria Kataaria Puri, Kothari also creates footwear for Miss India contestants and the selected beauties who participate for international pageants. Kothari’s footwear is available both at stores, such as Aza, and online.
Log on to www.veruschka.in

Aprajita Toor
KOLHAPURIS with a shot of sass and edge is how you can describe Aprajita Toor’s work. This shoe designer, who started off as a jewellery designer, is not just a hot favourite on the ramp, but also off it where her work finds space in designers’ personal wardrobes.

Toor’s creation for designer Neha Agarwal’s Gen Next show. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Toor’s creation for designer Neha Agarwal’s Gen Next show. Pic/Satyajit Desai

A case in point being designer Masaba Gupta, who has been seen sporting her Kolhapuris. “I started by creating small batches for Mogra (a store in Bangalore). Later, designer Debarun Mukherjee picked up my designs for his show,” says Toor.

Aprajita Toor
Aprajita Toor

For this season of Mumbai’s Fashion Week, she crafted a design combining Kolhapuri chappals and gladiators, for designer Neha Agarwal. Other designers to work with her included Gaurav Jai Gupta, and the label Love Birds. Toor offers a pret collection under the name, We Desi, and a custom-made couture version under a label named after her, and dabbles in jewellery and bags too.
Log on to www.aprajitatoor.com

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