Fashion and business icon Professor Jimmy Choo was in town this week, and in partnership with Remix Magazine, Westpac was honoured to host him at a Q&A lunch event at our head office on Thursday, 22 October.
The event, MC’d by Hilary Barry, was a rare opportunity to hear from the man himself, who made his first pair of shoes at age 11 for his mother, after learning the necessary skills from his shoemaker father.
After he moved to the UK to study at Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney, he opened his first shop in an old hospital where he sold his unique handmade creations of incredibly high quality.
“You have to design them to be unusual,” he told the audience. “You have to be original.
“The quality, the fitting has to be good as well. No matter how pretty they are, if you wear them once and then after that you walk around and they come loose, nobody will come back to you and buy some more. They have to be good, unusual, and one step ahead of everyone else.”
As Hilary noted, his big break came in 1988 Professor Choo’s big break came with an 8 page spread in Vogue Magazine.
“If you get in Vogue, you can get in any magazine,” Professor Choo said.
And it didn’t take long for the world’s most fashionable people to take notice, with Princess Diana becoming a big fan.
“I was working with her for 7 years. I’m a very lucky person. I could go to Kensington Palace to see her.”
Health is important to Professor Choo, and he ended his speak by leading the audience in a few tai chi poses.
Professor Choo is truly a people person, and after his talk took photos with almost every audience member.
Hilary Barry interviews Professor Jimmy Choo
Here's a quck cut of some of the things Professor Choo touched on in his Q&A.