Inside Mindy Kaling’s Colorful Shoe Closet on ‘The Mindy Project’

Mindy Lahiri has an enviable shoe closet. The lead character in the Hulu TV series “The Mindy Project,” played by creator Mindy Kaling, doesn’t shy away from the highest of heels in bold colors. “The shoes are very important and tell who a person is,” said costume designer Salvador Perez. “Shoes tell a story.” FN caught up with Perez to talk fashion and set secrets.

What stands out about the shoes in the fifth season?
“Mindy’s shoe collection has grown. She is a shoe girl, and if she likes a shoe, she wears it in every color. The Valentino Rockstud is one shoe we have in every color. In the first season, she wore a lot of Ferragamo. Now we have Kate Spade, Jimmy Choo and Nicholas Kirkwood. It has to be extravagant when you already have 150 pairs of solid pumps. Fendi is interesting. I would say 30 percent of the wardrobe is her shoes — it’s that lavish.”

 

Any favorite fashion moments for Mindy this season?
“Mindy has been doing a lot of eBay searching for shoes. In one episode, she wears a red-laced dress and clear Louboutin shoes that were the perfect accessory. The shoe has to be a statement on its own. We don’t own flats — maybe one pair of loafers. Even when she’s sitting on a bed dangling her feet, we think about the shoes.”

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What about the men’s shoes on the show?
“Bryan Greenberg, who plays Ben, is a working-class guy, and he’s in combat boots and workboots. They are all John Varvatos. They look beautiful and aged. We wanted a shoe that looked lived in. Morgan [played by Ike Barinholtz] is a nurse; we put him in Adidas sneakers.”

Any set secrets you can share?

“We sort of pushed the envelope of fashion every year, and the audience expects that we top it each year. A lot of her [around-the-house] wardrobe is really high-end couture, from Dior to Roberto Cavalli. We put it on, and it looks like pajamas or sloppy lounge wear.”

WWD Fashion Forum
"The Mindy Project" costume designer Salvador Perez.
CREDIT: Christina Hilliard.

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