Jimmy Choo has long established itself as one of the stiletto brands of choice, so it's no wonder that the brain behind the brand possesses the dedication and style that one would expect. Born in the United Kingdom and educated in Hong Kong, creative director Sandra Choi talks shoes, family and Princess Diana at the launch of Jimmy Choo's Cruise 2018 collection hosted at legendary London private club, Annabel's. Here are seven takeaways we got from the power woman:
Jimmy Choo was her aunt’s husband and she was the company’s first employee
"I had a lot of respect for his talent as a shoemaker. He was an expert at the craft and had 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."
She's designed shoes for Princess Diana and Michelle Obama
"I have a huge amount of respect for women who made and continue to make a positive impact in the world. The late Princess Diana and Michelle Obama are wonderful examples. The fact that they have chosen to wear Jimmy Choo is a huge source of pride for me. Princess Diana was a customer, she came to Jimmy Choo via her couture designers and asked us to make shoes to match. She was very funny, utterly normal and always on the lookout for traffic wardens. Little wonder when she would drive straight up to the door of our first shop on Motcomb Street and park on the double yellow lines outside."
Family comes first
"For the most part, I try to keep work and family separate. At home, I am a wife and mother. Especially when we have weekends at our house in Bath. This is my reset time where I turn my phone off and really focus on family."
Choi was responsible for the snakeskin sneakers
"I am a mother of two wonderful young daughters and a wife who has a demanding job. Often I look at myself and consider what I need to make life easier or make myself feel better. I started looking at the essentials I needed in my wardrobe to enable me to fulfil my many roles.
As a result, we expanded the offering to include trainers which I wear for the school run and biker boots that I wear on weekends. I wanted Jimmy Choo to offer women and men everything they needed, so we worked to build this over the years. Now, the product offering is diverse and reflects the many roles we assume on a daily basis."
Her one industry secret? It's not about the height
"It’s not so much about the height of shoes; it is more about knowing your limits. There is a perfect heel height or everyone in our collections; once you have found it, you will always be confident in your shoes."
(Look back: Jimmy Choo Cruise 2017)
Her favourite quote about shoes is from Sex and the City
"The episode when Carrie loses her “CHOOs” while trying to catch the Staten Island ferry in Sex and the City really put us on the fashion map. It was the turning point in popular culture when fashion became part of the mainstream in a way it had never been before. There is nothing that can quite compare."
(Relevant: Jimmy Choo’s #IWantChoo Party)