You should know about... Aruna Seth

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You should know about... shoe designer, Aruna Seth.

You should know about... Aruna Seth
When Pixie Lott spent an evening at The Ivy for a quiet, private dinner earlier this year, she probably didn't expect to find herself splashed all over the papers the following day. She didn't get drunk; she didn't cause a fuss about the calorie content of her food; she didn't punch a photographer on her way out. She simply wore a pair of crystal butterfly-embellished, black leather Aruna Seth shoes (ballerina flats at that, no Perspex, money tray gimmicks here) that were, quite simply, so beautiful as to warrant their own headline. It's easy to see the appeal of Aruna as soon as you meet her; she is her fairytale brand. She's been in the shoe trade since she was knee-high - her father, Geoff Seth, is the man who gave the world the iconic white Ascot pro-trainer in the '80s, and Aruna grew up spending school holidays touring factories, helping in the warehouse and selling in the shop. "Shoes are in my blood," she says, simply. An Aruna Seth design, however, is about as far from a macho sports shoe as it gets. Think Swarovski crystals, bows, ribbons, taffeta... Her signature design, a wedge smothered in 3,000 crystals, is called the Cinderella and even her new autumn/winter 2010 range of OTK boots are red carpet ready. Each pair is handmade in Northern Italy. "My shoes are all about the 'wow' factor," says Aruna. "They're glamorous and elegant, but never in your face. And comfort is so important - it's not just how the shoe looks, but how it feels. You're probably going to be standing a lot in them, so it's essential to me to get that right." It's little wonder that Aruna spends much of her time jetting back and forth from London to LA, where her designs are in huge demand from the Hollywood jet-set. Goldie Hawn wore a pair of Cinderellas to the premiere of Nine last year and loved them so much that she offered an endorsement straight away - which, needless to say, doesn't happen every day. "The minute I put Aruna Seth's shoes on I did not want to take them off," reads the note. "They were so comfortable... And for evening shoes that's saying a lot." With plans for her first standalone store to open in London later this year, Aruna's understandably feeling optimistic about the future. "I've been going since 2007, and things are really starting to take off now," she confides. "One of the hardest lessons to learn in business is not to rush ahead but to hold yourself back, be patient, and do things properly. A lot of the 'hot new' designers people hear about have already been going quietly for a long time. People want to know you're in it for the long haul before they start taking you seriously. If I'm still doing this in 10 years time, I'll be happy." For what it's worth, we don't doubt one bit that 2010 is the year for Aruna Seth - and her Swarovski-smothered super-shoes - to shine.
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