The Shoe-stopper

Nayantara Sood is looking to redefine the ‘Made in India’ tag,especially in the luxury footwear market

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Published:April 8, 2013 2:05 am

Nayantara Sood is looking to redefine the ‘Made in India’ tag,especially in the luxury footwear market

As a child,Nayantara Sood had a peculiar habit of shrugging her shoulders when she was asked to do something. Her mother started calling her ‘Tara May’ and sometimes,‘Tara May Not’. Today,as one of India’s most recognisable shoe designers,Sood is no longer in two minds about her choices. In fact,when she was thinking about a brand name for her luxury shoe label,Taramay was a perfect fit. “I had always been interested in different forms of design,but when I seriously considered becoming a designer and applying my ideas in a real way,shoes were my favorite canvas,” admits Sood. 

Having studied footwear design at London College of Fashion,Sood launched her label in 2009. It’s been a long,eventful walk since then. Her famous Eiffel Tower ballet flats are not only the most photographed,appearing in glossies regularly,but have found feet across the world. “Growing up in different parts of the world has been a key influence in my designs. The styles are feminine and I like to concentrate on the cut so as to show the foot best and then temper it with strong details,” explains Sood. 

Although she started showing at Fashion Week in 2009,her first collection was launched in Fall-Winter 2010. “It was a risk and a number of people told me that the Indian customer wasn’t ready for a high-priced,high-quality Indian footwear brand. However,it was clear to me that there was a demand,especially among women,and they wanted an alternative between cheap chappals and expensive international designer brands,” she says.  

Looking to redefine what the term “Made in India” means,Sood says she strives to create designs that are a blend of the classic with the modern thus giving the footwear a global feel. “While living in London,I saw a lot of great designs coming out of India,but they were not available back home. One of the ideas behind Taramay is to create shoes,which are cued by international design,crafted in India using the highest quality leather and workmanship,and are available to the Indian market,” asserts Sood,who retails across stores in India and caters to a host of countries through her online portal.

Travelling,says Nayantara,always gives her a fresh perspective and she makes it a point to visit independent design boutiques. “I like observing street style as well and places like London,New York,and Mumbai have such individual senses of style. Being a blogger myself,I spend a lot of time trawling through personal/ street style blogs. I’m a bit of a hoarder so any fabric,embellishment,or leather I like,I store for later. I can keep them for months and then suddenly one day they become the backbone of a collection,” she says. 

For the coming season,Sood’s collection focuses heavily on texture and print. “It’s a bold collection for the summer with an emphasis on colour. I will also be launching a ballet flat with a flexible sole for extra comfort,” says the shoe designer who will also launch her flagship store later this year

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