While you’ve been watching reruns of “The Office” and “The Mindy Project,” writer-director-producer-actress and comedian Kaling has been working hard on many, many different projects: her first Amazon Studios feature film, “Late Night”; a Hulu series with Priyanka Chopra; a Netflix series loosely based on Kaling’s childhood and, you guessed it, a footwear partnership.
The multi-hyphenate shows no signs of slowing down, which means she needs shoes that can keep up. That’s why she’s recently teamed up with the shoe retailer DSW, a brand she’s relied on for cool kicks since she was a kid.
“DSW was a place I started going to when I was 13,” Kaling told HuffPost. “It was great because you could just go in, the price point was such that you could get a couple of pairs of shoes because your parents would let you, and you didn’t have to ask someone for your size — you could just like grab your own size — and I just thought it was really fun. ... I even got my prom shoes there,” Kaling said.
In a hilarious video to kick off the partnership, Kaling picks up a pair of snakeskin heeled booties that “make me want to get back together with my ex-husband — and I don’t even have an ex-husband.” Still, at the heart of the partnership is Kaling’s love for shoes, specifically stilettos, which will always hold a special place in her closet for one good reason.
“I mean this is a little personal, but no matter what fluctuates in my body — my weight or whatever — I love a beautiful pair of shoes. I love how they make me feel, they always make me feel put together,” she said during a private luncheon with the brand.
“This is a little personal, but no matter what fluctuates in my body — my weight or whatever — I love a beautiful pair of shoes. I love how they make me feel, they always make me feel put together.”
Kaling’s Instagram hints at a busy schedule filled with back-to-back press circuits, screeners, writers rooms, recipes by Chef Mindy and stunning red carpet reveals that would make her TV namesake green with envy. It’s a mix of her two extreme worlds: an A-list celebrity who needs to look sharp at all times, and a writer and mom for whom trend and comfort are key. The two shoes that get her there are no exception.
“I love a pointy-toed stiletto, and I was one of these people that even when I was nine months pregnant I would wear the pointy stilettos,” she said.
“I remember going out to dinner with my friend B.J. and he was like, ‘I think those look very unsafe at your level of pregnancy,’ and I’m like, ‘I’m fine,’” Kaling said, laughing. “I just always told myself I don’t want to be one of those moms where, when I have a kid I just start wearing like, really sensible shoes, because I love a heel and always have. Thus far I have done a pretty good job of not reverting into tennis shoes, even though it’s more comfortable.”
Still, while stilettos may take Kaling from “The Office” to “Late Night,” there’s one other shoe that’s become a staple in her weekly wardrobe: a pair of Fila sneakers. For long days on set and parenting, she’ll make an exception and slip into her practical sneakers to get through the day.
“I like a gleaming, white, thick-soled sneaker. I think they’re so on trend and also very good with athleisure,” she said. “Those kind of shoes are great because I feel fashionable wearing them, but I can also carry my baby around and it’s easy.”
The one shoe you won’t see Kaling wearing anytime soon? Birkenstocks. “Man, I love the Birkenstock — like, the upscale, fashionista Birkenstock look — but that is not a flattering look for my feet. I love when I see other people wearing them, but they don’t look great on me.”
What makes the DSW partnership so fulfilling for Kaling is that it’s accessible. “The price point is really low, which is great because not everyone who follows me, or is a fan of mine or even what I do, makes six figures or eight figures.” That’s good news for those of us who want to recreate her campy Met Gala look for a lot less.
Below, we’ve rounded up a few of Mindy’s personal picks from DSW’s collection. Take a look:
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