Have you ever wondered who’s the brilliant designer whose shoes are favourite among the royals and celebrities like the Duchess of Cambridge, Angelina Jolie, Diane Kruger and Jennifer Lopez?
The man is none other than the one and only Professor Datuk Jimmy Choo.
Though his name stands among luxury brand names such as Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, and Giuseppe Zanotti, Jimmy started his works from basically nothing.
Jimmy was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he had a rough start.
Let us travel down memory lane and explore the life of Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat.
Jimmy was born in Penang into a family of shoemakers. At the age of 11-years-old where most boys were busy playing football, he was sweating down in his father’s workshop, too busy learning how to be a great designer.
Life was tough throughout his college days too. To fund for his studies, Jimmy worked part-time as a cleaner at a restaurant and at a shoe factory.
After he graduated, Jimmy began to work at a shop in Hackney which he opened in 1986 by renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed and his creations became featured in the Vogue issue and caught the attention of Princess of Wales, Princess Diana.
Here are the life lessons that Datuk Pofessor Jimmy Choo has taught us based on his vast experiences:
1. Get creative!
He told Korea Times,
“If you don’t create something new and not love what you do, it is very difficult to succeed. I am not scared of them copying my design, idea or inspiration. I am worried that they will become lazy and not come up with new designs.”
2. Get your basics right
Jimmy told The Social Pages,
“I design like an architect. “It’s a beautiful, distinctive art, and shoes are like the foundations. If the foundations aren’t right, the building won’t stand upright, and if a woman’s balance isn’t right, nothing else is.”
3. Be down to earth
The legendary designer believes that he isn’t that great. He told Malaysia Wills,
“I never claim that I am successful because this gives me a reason to keep on learning and be a good student.”
4. Keep doing what you love
Jimmy told Vogue that though he has ventured out into other things, he still continues to design shoes.
“I’m still designing shoes and sketching. I can’t be without designing shoes.
“I’m still training young people and working with them closely. Last year, I went back to the London College of Fashion and helped to raise money for young students. That’s what I’m doing mostly—raising money for charities and education.
“But I still design shoes. I cannot stop.”
5. Learn and develop a skill
The Datuk also explained to Korea Times that it was vital to have a skill.
“My father never forced me to make shoes or design one. He said if I have a skill, then I can get a job wherever I travel in the future. He suggested I learn something really good, which was making shoes.”
Isn’t he a truly wise man? Well, we’ve got lots to learn from everyone, but more so from Datuk Jimmy Choo himself. Let us all heed his advice and become a better person.