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Sandra Choi

Jimmy Choo’s creative director tells Emily Norval about its new store concept and plans for more men’s-only shops.

You’ve been a designer at Jimmy Choo since the brand was founded in 1996. How has it felt since you stepped upto the role of creative director in February?

I’m excited, I feel like I’m mapping out the next chapter of the Jimmy Choo story. I’ve been here since the start and that experience allows me to have confidence in my decisions. Jimmy Choo is my working life; I’ve lived and breathed it my whole career so my creative decisions are instinctive.

Does this mark the start of a new direction at Jimmy Choo?

I like to see it as a new chapter. The brand is only 17 years old and I’m enormously proud of everything we’ve done so far. I’m focused on evolving the brand, ensuring the product remains modern, relevant and creative.

What’s coming up for spring 14?

It’s going to be busy. We moved our men’s presentation to London this season, showing as part of London Collections: Men. We were excited about this as the DNA of the Jimmy Choo man has its heart in Mayfair. We’re also working with architects David Collins Studio to realise a new global store concept. We’re working closely to craft a new architectural language for Jimmy Choo. We’ll start with the Beverly Hills store and unveil the concept in spring 2014.

Will you be opening more men’s-only stores since you relocated the London men’s flagship in May?

Yes, we’ll be opening a men’s-only store in Shanghai next year.

We’re also planning to grow our dual-gender stores, where the men’s and women’s collections sit side by side.

Do you prefer designing for men or women?

My background and training was in women’s but the addition of men’s has been something I enjoy. It demands a different approach but with the same level of detail.

Did you always want to work in footwear?

I did a foundation course and then a degree in fashion design at Central Saint Martins College. My heart was in fashion but my head was in product design - which my tutor noticed. I now find myself in the best of both worlds because I design shoes for a fashion house.

Which is your favourite pair of shoes?

It’s too hard to choose. I have more than 500 pairs at home and it really depends on the occasion, but I’m a heel girl at heart - I like and need the extra height.

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

To believe in yourself, trust your instincts and always stay true to your convictions.

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