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LABEL NAME: The Sole Sisters (www.facebook.com/thesolesisters)
OWNER: Chondamma Cariappa, Founder and Creative Director
StyleCracker: Why shoes? What got you into designing footwear?
Chondamma Cariappa: “Throughout my travels, I’ve picked up footwear worth interesting discussions. To compliment that, I decided to start a blog where women could share their love for shoes. And one fine day, I got to designing footwear I’d love to wear myself!”
SC: Can you talk us through your latest collection and your favourite pieces?
CC: “My latest creations are the ‘Wicker Kolhapuris’- they’re handwoven by traditional wicker-makers and moulded into Kolhapuris by our craftsmen. As for my current favourite, the ‘Hippie Soles’ would undoubtedly win. Each of them are different from the other, as they are cut from vintage afghani fabrics.”
SC: If you could be a leather sandal, describe its style to us?
CC: “A single-band tan sandal- basic, clean, minimal and classy.”
SC: What inspires you daily?
CC: “Reading e-mails from Sole Sisters all around the world, telling us about how much they love our shoes. Things such as these inspire and push us into working even harder.”
SC: If you had to pick three shoe styles to wear forever, what would they be?
CC: “On top of my list would be ‘kolhapuris’- complete zero-fuss footwear and bearing the abilities to be slipped in and out easily. In addition, they go well with Indian and western aesthetics alike. Secondly, I adore ‘keds’ too- they’re super-comfy and will never go out of fashion. Lastly, brogues tickle my bones- they’re superbly interesting and versatile pairs, and you can always trust them to look good with dresses as well as jeans.”
SC: Your eternal muse?
CC: “Coco Chanel! Keep your heels, head and standards high.”
SC: What are you secretly addicted to?
CC: “I have an open affair with cakes and artisanal chocolates. My studio is always stocked with them!”
SC: How do you fuse Indian elements into your design aesthetic?
CC: “There is so much of inspiration in India. I love adding an Indian element for a contemporary look to all my creations. For instance, the Khadi collection or the two-toned Kolhapuris are very Indian with their motifs and fabrics but yet possess distinct and fresh looks.”
SC: Where do you see yourself expanding your existing line?
CC: “In Paris and Tokyo!”
SC: One iconic pair of shoes you wish you’d designed?
CC: “Salvatore Ferragamo’s black loafers for Audrey Hepburn in the movie ‘Funny Face’. She made flats instantly popular!”