Walk A Mile In her Shoes...

Mariette Valsan

How did you get into Modelling?

I was discovered by Indian designer James Ferreira, who not only spotted me, but also mentored me and pushed me into modelling. I started with fashion week, and then competed in the Kingfisher Calendar Girl Hunt, which is based on Next Top Model.  I was scouted immediately after and have never looked back since.

The best thing about being model?
I think it is great to satisfy my curiosity of how different I can look in different get-ups. It kinda is like playing dress-up, but with the best in the business supporting you. Another thing I realised through the course of my time as a model, is that it is really the best place to meet passionate, creative individuals. I am yet to meet someone complaining about working too much. Everyone looks forward to work the next day. It is a refreshing attitude.

The worst thing about being a model?

Work is not regular, and having worked at a desk job for a while, I was used to the idea of getting up and going to work everyday. It took a while to get used to it, but now I value the free time I get. 

You're a model which means you have great fashion sense but can you think of any footwear crimes you have committed in the past?
Haha. Footwear crimes! Love it! I'd say when I was in college and had to deal with the rain, I bought a pair of floaters or sandals which were absolutely ghastly. But so convenient for the torrential rain that we face in Bombay.  Otherwise, I've always played it kind of safe, with very classic styles : sneakers and stilettos. 

Describe your footwear style in 1 sentence?

Comfort casual

What’s the most memorable pair of shoes you can remember shooting in?

Actually more than shooting, I remember walking in a Shane and Falguni Peacock fashion runway show with these amazing , intimidating, sky high boots! I had a heart attack when I saw them, but they were so well made, (and we had to kind of march while we walked) that it worked out perfectly.  

Sneakers or ballet pumps when you’re not on model duties?

Sneakers any day

Plain or pattern?

Plain. Classic is what I gravitate towards.

Stone wash or tie-dye?

Stone wash

The most expensive pair of shoes you own?

A beautiful pair of blue and black striped pumps from Aldo.

Sneakers or heels?

Sneakers always win

Stiletto or Wedges?


Lipstick or lip-gloss? 

Gloss. Maybe with a tint of colour

Cats or dogs?

Animals! Both

You’re on a day of castings - what shoes do you travel in and what heels do you change into?

I travel in either my Adidas sneakers or my Converse. And change into a pair of black heels that usually go with anything. 

What's the one pair of shoes you can't live without?

Sneakers for sure., Being a traveller, they are the most practical and comfortable shoes one can find. And they look good too!

What's on your iPod right now? 

Have not actually had the chance to sit and listen to music in ages. Been catching up on all my movies instead. Just watched green mile and Drishyam. 

What makes you go to sleep? 

A good day of work ending with a peaceful evening with my two adopted cats. 

If you could time warp yourself to any point in history when would it be and who would you hang out with?

I would warp myself to the roaring 20s and hang out with the who's who of society and maybe inspire Fitzgerald a bit too!

What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe? 

A gold necklace with two pendants that my parents gifted me. The first one, a cross, was made when I was born, and the second is a diamond and gold "M" which was gifted to me when I turned 21. 

If Ryan Gosling came over to you right now, what would you say to him?

I would ask him if he had tips/ advice on making it in Hollywood.

Your best friends plan a last minute night out - what pair of shoes do you grab first?

My brogues. Classy and comfortable for a night out on the town. 

Its your birthday - do you plan your shoes around your outfit? or your outfit around your shoes?

Shoes around my outfit. 

Suede or patent?


Favourite place to shoe shop?

A.K.A Bespoke

Best shoe bargains?

My new Adidas originals. Got them 60% off.

Your favourite footwear designer of the moment?

A.K.A bespoke in India. Owned by Karan Berry, he custom makes shoes. I love the brogues he made for me. 

What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?

I spent a few hours speaking to and auditioning for a film role with this gentleman, who took me through a great audition. After we were done, he left and I asked the casting fellow who I was coordinating with, whether the director of movie would be in at any point and if I could meet him. He gave me a funny look and then asked, " Who do you think was auditioning you all this while? " And this is one of the biggest directors in Bollywood, and I spent a good amount of time with him giving an audition and I had no idea. My feet couldn't carry me out of there fast enough. 

What's the biggest shopping mistake you've ever made?

Bought this super cute, short dress, that now I look at and role my eyes because I feel it is too school-girl-ish

What's your biggest inspiration?


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