Sometimes life takes a surprising turn. For me, everything changed when I moved to London from Hong Kong when I was a teenager. I was actually born in the Isle of Wight and I moved to Hong Kong when I was eight months old. At 13, I came back to the Isle of Wight and then got on a train to Waterloo and moved in with my Uncle Jimmy and Auntie Rebecca in Hackney. It’s very Chinese that your aunt and uncle would take care of you, as is the idea that you repay generosity. So I tried to make myself useful around Uncle Jimmy’s shoe studio. I was fascinated by what he was doing, and I loved learning how to make things. I had a lot of respect for his talent as a shoemaker, he was an expert at the craft. He had a meticulous attention to detail when it came to the form of a shoe and its finish. He instilled the importance of this in me from the beginning. He taught me the fundamental principles of making shoes by hand. I will forever be grateful for the experience I learnt working with Jimmy and the people I met during the time we were there, it was an amazing journey and I was very fortunate.
Shoes have always been something that I was passionate about. I remember when I was seven I was given a pair of high-heeled, white patent leather Mary Janes with a block square toe. It was Chinese New Year, and traditionally we would always get a new outfit. The shoes were part of it, and for a seven year old it was a real light bulb moment – I couldn’t believe it. I felt so grown up.
Years later, I understood shoes, especially heels, have always had the power to transform both emotionally and physically. They change your posture and make you feel more confident and empowered. Of course, there is also the simple fact that while you can leave your house without a handbag, you can never go out without a pair of shoes. It really is a must-have item. Speaking personally, I find I can go through a busy day with lots of different types of responsibilities and keep on one outfit and just change my shoes. Let’s say I’m in a pair of jeans and a silk shirt and a jacket: for the school run I’ll wear trainers; in the office, flats; to go out for a drink in the evening, heels. You just need a big Jimmy Choo tote bag to carry them all in! I always had a keen interest in fashion and an early appreciation for tailoring and architectural design in ready to wear. I remember to this day being struck by an early Galliano coat from one of his first collections that I saw in a magazine. It was deconstructed but the detail and tailoring were so precise, like nothing I had ever seen before. That coat ignited something in me. I was itching to leave the IOW by the time I finished school and a teacher at my school submitted an application on my behalf for a Foundation course at CSM and I got in! I saw studying in London for my foundation degree at CSM as my way out. That is when I moved in with my Aunt and Uncle.Jimmy had established his bespoke shoe business in Hackney and after college and in the holidays I would help in his studio, I found it inspiring to be able to actually live and breathe the whole journey of a shoe. I then applied for the Fashion degree course and got a place but after a term I decided I wanted to pursue the opportunity I had to work full time alongside my uncle full time so left my course and that’s how it all begun. I sometimes regret not finishing my fashion degree at Central St Martin’s as I missed out on some of those great relationships you make with your peers but the good thing about working in London is I am now able to catch up with them, there’s a wonderful sense of camaraderie amongst the London designers.
Jimmy Choo has been built with a legacy of confident women who use fashion and our shoes to convey a message of power and confidence and to express who they are, across all generations and cultures. The Jimmy Choo women isn’t afraid to dare to stand out, whether that’s in her style or how she approaches life. She strives to be the best version of herself. She is every woman: she is intelligent and open-minded. There’s a shared sense of an innate confidence, playfulness and daring spirit that transcends the world of celebrity and the red carpet we have become so known for to real women, being the best versions of themselves and juggling a multitude of roles that are the reality of the dynamic world we all live in today.
Autumn Winter heralds a new chapter for Jimmy Choo. It represents the evolution of fashion and modern luxury. Jimmy Choo has become a full luxury lifestyle brand, shoes will always be our soul but handbags are a natural evolution. Our new handbag family, Varenne, offers a modern yet timeless family of bags from top handle bowling to hands free cross body and chic printed croc clutch. Jimmy Choo has a strong emotional resonance with customers globally. There’s a sense of joy, fun and playfulness when referencing the brand. A lot of this was born out of the enduring relationship we have with the red carpet and celebrity but there has always been a multi-faceted dynamic to the brand that talks to a world beyond this. This is more relevant than ever, with the democratization of style whether that be in the workplace, off duty or on the red carpet
I want whatever we do to have a resonance and a timelessness. After designing the collections for over 20 years it was apparent we needed an emblem to give an authoritative visual ownership to our signature designs. The JC logo is quite literally our monogram, our brand initials in abbreviated form consciously designed to be representative of the multifaceted identity of the brand and of the Jimmy Choo customer.
Finally, I think there are a few key accessories that every woman should have in their wardrobe:
A pointy toe pump, such as the Jimmy Choo Love 100, £475
Booties such as a Jimmy Choo Mahesa, £1,195
Strappy sandals such as the Jimmy Choo Mimi 100, £550
A pair of statement shoes such as the Jimmy Choo Lyja 100, £1,695
A good pair of flats such as the Jimmy Choo Cruz Flat, £795
A handbag such as Varenne Bowling/S: Black Calf and Vacchetta Leather Bowling Bag with Gold JC Logo, £1,095