In Jimmy Choos footsteps

PUBLISHED: 11:01 20 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:05 20 February 2013

Sylvia Campbell

Sylvia Campbell

Trained by the famous shoe designer, Bracknell-based Sylvia Campbell has stepped out on her own

In the world of shoes, Jimmy Choo is the ultimate name in design, so when Sylvia Campbell, from Warfield, near Bracknell, had the chance to train under the maestro, she jumped at the opportunity after she graduated from the London College of Fashion. A spell at John Lobb, shoemaker to HM The Queen, also followed.

"It was nerve racking to say the least," says Silvia, "but it confirmed my dream to work in bespoke design rather than high street fashion."

One year on, Silvia is designing and making two of pairs of shoes a week from her home in Warfield, with one customer now on her fourth commission. Although Sylvia will create shoes and boots for all occasions, a great number are for evening wear and weddings. From start to finish a project can take up to three months and prices start at around 300.
Client involvement is a key element in the process, stresses Silvia. "I like to consult closely, experimenting with different fabrics, colours and ideas, and see the design evolve, then I make a pattern and create a mock up."

Silvia's contacts initially came through independent outfit designers and now also through her network connections at Ladies Who Latte and Can Do, Can Be at Ascot. "Of course I will travel anywhere. I even have one client in Alaska. This isn't work to me, it is my passion," she says.

According to Sylvia, however, passion isn't enough to succeed. "I was the worst in the class at drawing and my tutor told me I was wasting my time! I was really determined to prove her wrong," she recalls. She finished with the only distinction in her year. Visit

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