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XXIV - 2016

by SCMP

XXIV 24

Aruna Seth’s iconic butterfly symbol stems from ‘personal love affair with secret gardens’

Feminine shoes strike a balance between transformation and timelessness, creating collections that are relevant to the season but remain classics over the years

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 November, 2016, 9:16am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 May, 2017, 10:51pm

You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, and in the case of Aruna Seth, you’re in luck – her shoes are sleek, chic, and oh so romantic.

“The dream has and always will be to create princess shoes,” Seth says. “[They should be] comfortable but the most beautiful shoes in the world.”

Known for her brand’s feminine, comfortable shoes with their signature butterfly motif, Seth manages to strike a balance between the concepts of transformation and timelessness, creating collections that are relevant to the season but remain classics over the years.

“We take trends into consideration and really pay attention to certain fabrics and materials … but we have a clear brand identity,” she says. “Even with trend-focused styles, we incorporate little elements that are distinctive to the Aruna Seth brand. Every single shoe has a crystal butterfly on the sole, and the butterfly shape is incorporated into every single design. It’s these little details that make our styles timeless.”

When you love what you do, you are essentially never working
Aruna Seth

Seth grew up watching her father work. Geoff Seth, the man behind Ascot trainers, created several brands over the years and this became his daughter’s source of inspiration when it came to creating her own brand – although this didn’t happen until 2009. Seth worked for an investment bank after graduating with a business degree, but eventually left to pursue her true interest, explaining that “one thing that has always remained the same is my passion for shoes”.

It’s clear that the brand is deeply personal to the designer. The iconic butterfly symbol stems from Seth’s “personal love affair with secret gardens”, and embodies the ideals that her brand represents. “In many cultures, the butterfly is associated with the soul, and it is the metamorphosis and grace of the butterfly that create the perfect mantra for the brand,” she says.

Seth might seem like a workaholic but she is one of the fortunate few who can juggle work and life. “When you love what you do, you are essentially never working, and so my personal and working lives cross over all the time,” she says. “Travelling has to be one of my favourite things to do, and I gain inspiration from every place I visit.”

Even with her extensive travelling, she steals hours here and there so she can relax, treasuring the quality of her leisure time. She loves to exercise and catch up with friends – although these often become brainstorming sessions as a few are brand owners. “Everyone is on their own individual journey in life,” she says. “With any passion, it is a journey that comes with many ups and downs. However, if it is truly something you love doing, then the journey is always worth it.” JT