CTea

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Fashionable Life Bazaar -

riss­cross­ing the city with some­one who knows it well, who lives there, is an ad­van­tage. In just five min­utes, San­dra Choi, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Jimmy Choo since 1996, trans­mits the ex­cite­ment of some­one who adores the ground on which she walks. One hun­dred per­cent Bri­tish, though with a Hong Kong her­itage, the de­signer has been liv­ing in Lon­don since she was old enough to know it. She re­ceives us in the com­pany’s head of­fices, in the new part of the Vic­to­ria dis­trict. The huge glass and lime­stone build­ing with its gi­gan­tic doors hosts her head­quar­ters on the sev­enth floor. San­dra’s of­fice is in full view, sep­a­rated from the oth­ers by a glass wall. This is where our con­ver­sa­tion be­gins, be­fore we ex­plore the Bri­tish cap­i­tal with the woman who has made Jimmy Choo one of the world’s most in­flu­en­tial footwear brands.

“It’s all a mess; I spend most of my life here,” San­dra ex­cuses her­self. Her or­derly disor­der re­veals the first hints of a pas­sion­ate and sen­si­tive per­son­al­ity. She col­lects al­most ev­ery­thing: old party in­vites, awards, vin­tage bags and shoes, but­tons, coloured pen­cils, and even a skate­board (from the brand’s lat­est menswear show). “I love to keep lit­tle things, be­cause to­gether they ac­quire mean­ing,” she ex­plains.

On one wall, a mood­board ex­poses the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the cruise col­lec­tion, in shops now. “It is in­spired by no­madism, by the mod­ern, bo­hemian woman who trav­els. Day­wear fea­tures warm colours, chunky heels, and eth­nic de­tails; evening­wear recre­ates the colours of the moon, in a range of tex­tures and ma­te­ri­als.” Feath­ers, bob­bles, tas­sels, fring­ing, semi-pre­cious stones. But now, down­stairs in the street, a van with tinted win­dows waits. Her as­sis­tant rides

Clifton Nurs­eries, a Vic­to­rian-style green­house

and his­tory: The Quince Tree Café at Clifton Nurs­eries serves break­fasts with nat­u­ral juices, teas, and or­ganic cakes

Bat­tersea’s majestic Al­bert Bridge, built in 1873, with one of its toll­booths

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