What I Know About Style

Lucy Choi

November
20

Shoe designer Lucy Choi on the magic of heels, brand identity, cocktails at The Connaught and values instilled by uncle Jimmy Choo

For your recent flagship boutique opening, you released the limited edition heel ‘Dormer’. What was the inspiration behind this particular heel?

We wanted to mark our boutique opening with a special edition shoe for all our loyal and excited customers. I feel the shoe epitomises my personal sense of style; I love the drama of mixing the colourful snake print leathers with black and white chevron detailing. It’s sexy, playful and fun all at the same time. I wear a lot of black, so feel I can be more daring with my shoe choices. With just the right pop of colour to set off your autumn wardrobe, the Dormer is the perfect shoe to mark the start of a new season.

The brand’s ethos is based on what you call the three Cs: character, comfort and craftsmanship. Why are these such important factors?

The three Cs represent what I believe sets us apart from our competitors. They are an integral part of our brand identity. Our customers are very savvy; they appreciate luxury and design-led products, but also want a wearable, comfortable shoe, at an affordable price. We pride ourselves that with Lucy Choi London our customers know they are investing in good quality shoes, which they can wear again and again.

Other than your own fabulous shoes, which other shoe designers fill your wardrobe?

Living in one of the fashion capitals of the world, I often feel inspired by both the seasoned designers as well as the talented emerging designers we have access to. I tend to do my homework and try on other designers’ shoes to improve any weaknesses of the brand. I find some brands’ shoes extremely uncomfortable, which of course I do not want for my own designs, so I ensure that for my collection we make shoes as comfortable as possible. Providing confidence for all my customers is a must for me!

In terms of my own wardrobe, I tend to only wear my own collection, as we have such a variety of styles that I am spoilt for choice. With over 500 pairs in my personal collection, I design my shoes with the belief that we provide luxurious and affordable shoes for women of all ages and for every occasion.

On a day-to-day basis, are you more of a flats or heels gal?

Day to day, I am very much a heels girl. But it is good to mix both heels and flats. Flats with a little heel are great for running around town, and are healthier for your feet and posture, but I think heels are much more empowering for women, particularly for work or the evening. I challenge any woman not to feel more confident at work in a pair of fabulous heels. They make you stand tall, elongate your legs and make you hold your body better, which naturally gives you confidence.

What do you look for when buying heels?​

As a shoe designer it changes how you look at shoes. I cannot help but apply my own ethos of the 3Cs (character, craftsmanship and comfort)—it’s paramount for any shoe!

With shoe legend Jimmy Choo as an uncle, you must have grown up immersed in creativity and surrounded by wonderful shoes. Was this a big influence when starting your own label?

I am close to my uncle and learnt many lessons from watching him at work, especially his strong work ethic and values. I also learnt early on that nothing in life comes easy and you must give 110%. To succeed you need a combination of knowledge, experience and financial know-how, and you mustn’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty!

From an early age, I learnt and absorbed a great deal from watching him work. In my teens to twenties, I saw that he always worked extremely hard and stayed true to his belief in himself and in his workmanship. He inspired me to aspire, to follow my dreams, and to ensure I always deliver on my promises. He gave me such important values.

With your first store in west London you must know the area pretty well, any recommendations on a great place for a bite to eat or an after work drink?

I would recommend The Connaught for cocktails. It is the most romantic setting, with comfy sofas and an open roaring fire in the bar in the winter. I also love Kurobuta for a place to eat in Connaught Village—it’s one of the best Japanese I’ve had in London! Bill Granger is a great place for dinner with friends, excellent food and a buzzy atmosphere. Cocomaya is perfect for a quick coffee and delicious cakes. Le Pain Quotidien for quick toasties and meetings when I am on the run—the hot bread and butter is delicious! And also E and O when I fancy a few cocktails and yummy pan-Asian food.

What does your typical weekend consist of?

My day to day life is incredibly busy, and so my sacrosanct ritual is a regular yoga session at least once a week, which helps me focus and rebalance.

On the weekend I love to relax by walking around London, playing tennis, exploring new places, and spending time with my family, with my husband and my cheeky son Thomas. It allows us to have family time to unwind, talk and connect.

Any immediate plans for boutique number two?

I have just been to the USA to meet with buyers there, as I would love to expand across the pond. But of course I would also love to open some more boutiques in the UK too—so watch this space…

Do you have any life mottos for being fabulous in business and style?​

Wearing a pair of Lucy Choi London shoes will ensure you feel confident to conquer the working day, and look fabulous while you’re doing it.

Lucy Choi London, 18 Connaught Street, London W2 2AF; 020 7402 3434; www.shoplucychoilondon.com

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