To celebrate the launch of my-wardrobe’s new Shoe Boutique, we speak exclusively to six of their star new footwear designers. First up is Lucy Choi, whose collections of power heels and cool points have put the court shoe firmly back on the fashion radar. The best bit? With prices starting at £98 for pumps, a pair of Choi’s won’t break the bank.
Who do you design for?
I think women like to play around with their image. Some days you feel like embracing your inner rock chick, other days you want something more elegant and classic. I always have both Kate Middleton and Kate Moss in my mind when designing, as, to me, they reflect this philosophy. Our goal is really just to create luxurious, affordable shoes for all women.
Why is affordability so important to you?
Our philosophy is to offer shoes with the highest levels of craftsmanship and character at affordable price points, without compromising on quality. To me, luxury should be accessible and this gives us a unique positioning on the high street and we feel we offer customers something very different.
What was on your mood board for AW13?
Rock stars and royalty, images from New Romantics to the court of Louis XIV. I sourced ornate embellishments like buckles, exquisite corsetry, decadent velvets and lace from around the world. It’s a really rich colour palette of midnight blues, leopard, gold and indigo.
How did your uncle Jimmy Choo influence your decision to become a footwear designer?
I’m so fortunate to come from a footwear dynasty and have definitely been inspired by my uncle Jimmy. He has been a mentor figure to me since I watched him work at a young age – he taught me the importance of giving 110% in business and that you must always deliver what you promise your customers.
Your sister, Sandra Choi, is now creative director at Jimmy Choo. Were you both obsessed with shoes as teenagers?
We both loved shoes from an early age but we didn’t train or work together. Sandra went straight into the shoe business, but I chose to start my career working in the City in finance, where I learnt all the skills needed to run a successful business - from forecasting to business planning and sales.
Why was it important to you to create your own brand and extend the family’s reputation in a new direction, rather than work at Jimmy Choo too?
I knew from early on that I wanted to do something for myself. I learnt the hard way! I could have chosen an easier path to join the family business but decided to carve my own niche in the shoe industry. I wanted to make sure I was ready first and I gained as much experience as I could; from watching and learning from my uncle, then by working in finance and then by spending the last 10 years in the shoe industry, before following my heart and starting my own brand.
What goals do you have for the brand in the next few years?
I would love to have opened our first boutique in London. I also hope to see the brand increase its international presence and to become globally recognized. I am so grateful for the overwhelming support we have had during our first year and half and from our many loyal, repeat customers who have bought from us season after season.
Visit my-wardrobe‘s new shoe boutique to see an exclusive edit of Lucy Choi shoes
By Caroline Leaper