updated 11 Apr 2011, 02:02
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Mon, Apr 11, 2011
The Star
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Jimmy Choo: Not my feat alone

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Behind every shoe that bears the Jimmy Choo name is a team of assistants who take care of the details from making the footwear to organising fashion events to promote the label.

"It's not a one-man job. Without a team, there's only so much a man can do.

"I may have given my name to the brand, but to make a good shoe I need the cooperation and support of my team.

"That is why I want to support young students to bring out their designs by going back to the original way, which is making shoes by hand.

"That is my vision," shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo told reporters at the opening of his special Sogno Gallery at the 2nd Malaysia International Shoe Festival.

The four-day event is being held at Putra World Trade Centre here.

Ten of his haute couture shoe collections are being showcased at the gallery for the four-day shoe fest.

The event, launched by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, was opened to commercial buyers and VIPs on the first day and to the public from Thursday until it ends tomorrow.

Also featured are exquisite shoe collections from renown designers Rene Caovilla, Kalliste, Luciano Padovan and Jerome Rousseou.

Asked if he plans to open a school in Malaysia for young designers to follow his high-flying footsteps, Choo, who is based in London, said: "A lot of people had asked if we're planning to open a shoe design school here someday.

"I really hope so, as I feel the need to contribute something to my country.

"But there are many factors that need to be considered to make the plan come true."

Choo, who was born in Penang, said there are no short-cuts to becoming a successful shoe designer as those aspiring to be famous must get used to the long hours as it is not a 9am to 5pm job.

"I'm lucky to be here today because my late father taught me to make quality shoes by hand.

"I wouldn't be successful if I was not granted that skill," he said.

However, he added, it was not just the skills that mattered.

One must persevere, accept criticism, be willing to learn and most importantly, remain cool, Choo said.

"If you lose your temper in working your way up, you will lose everything," Choo, who made his first shoes when he was 11, added.

He said he was not worried about young designers copying him.

"I am like the kung fu master and his disciples.

"If I can get them to accept 60% of my knowledge, they can succeed."

The shoe festival is open from 10.30am to 8.30pm and ends tomorrow.

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