Jimmy Choo exhibition sparkles in Cambridge
Fancy spending £200,000 on a pair of shoes? Well that’s the asking price for the ‘cheapest’ pair at a new display organised by iconic shoe designer Professor Jimmy Choo and his godson, Reggie Hung.
The stylish pair launched the elegant display at the Cambridge International Art Gallery – RG Hung’s Gallery, next to Jesus College – on Friday (February 2).
The event was supported by the University of Cambridge with the aim of promoting fashion, art, education and oriental culture.
Prof Choo introduced his new collection of bejewelled shoes, which form part of his new brand Gènavant, which he has created with his godson.
Malaysia-born Prof Choo, 69, is the founder and main designer of the high-end custom footwear brand, Jimmy Choo, and has won worldwide admiration, thanks to his exquisite tailoring, fashion design and use of Italian technology. He also served as Princess Diana’s shoe designer for seven years.
He told the Cambridge Independent: “One of the main reasons we decided to do this was that many of my clients asked why I didn’t make jewellery for my shoes? Of course, the finest jewellery needs the best craftsmen and takes many years to perfect.
“So, along with Reggie, we decided we needed the most talented craftsmen who had worked in this industry for many years to realise our vision.
“We found people who are experts in their field and love making jewellery and their passion shows through. The shoes I create are elegant and graceful so this venue and exhibition in Cambridge will be elegant and graceful.”
He added: “Reggie is very interested in following in my footsteps. He’s very young, and as a godfather I help him as much as I can – and I’m not only helping my godson, I also help a lot of students.
“I like to train young people because that’s what my father wanted me to do. If you have the skill, you should give back by teaching this skill. If you don’t teach a skill, slowly it dies out.”
This passion for education and passing on his knowledge is what made Prof Choo decide to bring the exhibition to Cambridge.
“I want people to know that I truly put my heart into education,” he said. “I’ve worked for the British Council for more than 10 years and have become an ambassador for the whole world.
“I’m not a teacher but I love to see people educated in the UK go back to their home countries and create jobs for their countrymen.
“In my heart, I like to help young people and I don’t ask for anything in return, because in life it’s not what you know but who you know.”
Reggie, who designed the jewels on the shoes for the exhibition and is group branding director of Gènavant, said:
“The exhibition was Jimmy’s idea. He wanted something unique. He’s mentioned so many times that his clients want jewellery on shoes.”
Though based in London, Reggie explained why he has a gallery in Cambridge: “The reason why we have a gallery here is because Cambridge is a well-known education city, and Jimmy’s always thought about education – he always tries to link his work in with education.
“Even though we’re promoting artists, at the same time we try to enhance all the students in Cambridge to have not just the very academic side of knowledge, but at the same time the aesthetic of arts.”
The exhibition runs until the end of the month and is by appointment only.
Visit rghung.com for more information.