Sandra Choi talks personal taste: Part One

The protégée and niece of Jimmy Choo, Sandra Choi has served as the shoe brand’s creative director since its inception in 1996

Sandra Choi at her home in southwest London
Sandra Choi at her home in southwest London | Image: © Charlie Gray 2014

My personal style signifier is my haircut – always short and, depending on my mood, sometimes shaved on one side or at the back. I used to visit the lovely Luke at Daniel Hersheson but now that life has become so busy, the brilliant private stylist Kim Roy comes to me. A great haircut is essential, and she and I have a strong rapport. 07989-606 740; www.kimroy.co.uk.

Choi’s Erdem leather biker jacket, £3,095
Choi’s Erdem leather biker jacket, £3,095 | Image: © Charlie Gray 2014

The last thing I bought and loved was a chair from the Paul Smith shop in Mayfair, which stocks quirky objets alongside the fashion. It’s a rare 1950s prototype, made from wood, metal and plastic, and quite experimental for the time. 9 Albemarle Street, London W1 (020-7493 4565; www.paulsmith.co.uk).

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a country home. My husband and I are in the process of buying a small house near Bath with a huge arboretum and 600 oak trees. We shall just serve as guardians – preserving the arboretum for the next generation – and our life there will be all about the trees and growing our own vegetables.

Gemstone gifts for Choi’s daughters
Gemstone gifts for Choi’s daughters | Image: © Charlie Gray 2014

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was an Erdem leather biker jacket, which looks hand-painted with flowers but was actually digitally printed. It is beautiful, wearable and collectable. £3,095; www.erdem.com.

This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, £37 for 120ml
This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, £37 for 120ml

A recent “find” is Andreas Murkudis, an amazing store in a warehouse in an industrial area of Berlin. It sells everything from furniture to toys, all created by small-scale local designers, and much of it is very good. Potsdamer Strasse 81E, 10785 Berlin (+4930-6807 98306; www.andreasmurkudis.com).

1950s prototype chair from Paul Smith
1950s prototype chair from Paul Smith | Image: © Charlie Gray 2014

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Robataya in Roppongi, Tokyo. Its interiors are reminiscent of an old Japanese movie and it feels as if you’ve stepped back in time, but the raw food is very contemporary and fresh. It was prepared in front of us with great performance by a chef who produced a superlative meal. 4 Chome-4-3 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032 (+813-3408 9674; www.roppongi-robataya.com).

Bad Blood by Bastille
Bad Blood by Bastille

The best gifts I’ve given recently were the tiny gemstones I give to my daughters, aged four and one, every birthday. I buy them privately from my gem-master neighbour, starting with a diamond and adding something different every year. By the time the girls are 21 they will have an entire collection – then it is up to them how they use them.

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And the best one I’ve received was the most divine massage at the Mandarin Oriental in London. It is a rare treat to get some “me” time, and having this indulgent treatment in such a private and relaxing environment cleansed and calmed my mind. It wasn’t just a massage, it was a chance to find my soul. From £155; 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1 (020-7235 2000; www.mandarinoriental.com).

The beauty staples I’m never without are Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream for my skin, and Vaseline for my eyes and lips, which I use to combat dryness, plus I wear it under make-up. Then there’s Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel to give my face a glow, and This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, which does the same for my legs – very important to a shoe designer. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £26 for 50ml; www.elizabetharden.co.uk. Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel, £26 for 50ml; www.uk.spacenk.com. This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle, £37 for 120ml; www.thisworks.com.Vaseline, £1.50 for 50ml; www.vaseline.co.uk.

The last music I downloaded was Bad Blood by British band Bastille. I was doing an event with them and wanted to hear their music. I liked the album a lot and when I visited LA, it was all over the radio.

In my fridge you’ll always find my leather trousers in the freezer compartment as it cleans them and kills germs. Plus several types of mustard, quince jelly, fresh ginger and bacon.

My favourite apps are Shazam, which recognises and identifies any music being played around you, and Uber for taxis. I’ve also signed up to Instagram, which is more useful than I expected.

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