MoU with Jimmy Choo aims to boost local capability to design bespoke footwear

Made-in-Sarawak shoes by local designers displayed at Juma'ani Pavilion.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 5: Looking for a customised pair of shoes which perfectly fit your feet? Look no further as Juma’ani Pavilion (JP) will be offering exclusive service for bespoke and made-to-order footwear in the near future.

Centexs Commercial general manager Shahren Yusri said they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the world-famous shoe designer and craftsman Professor Datuk Jimmy Choo to teach and train Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) fashion students.

“We hope through the collaboration with Jimmy Choo, who is one of our seven strategic partners, we can train more shoe designers among our fashion students at Centexs.

“As shoe-making and designing is a new initiative under JP, we will focus on training our students for the next one year before starting with actual production,” he told DayakDaily in an interview.

Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah (centre) checking out a shoe prototype at the workshop in Juma’ani Pavilion when officiating the opening of the fashion hub on Dec 7, 2022.

As making and designing good quality shoes is hard and complicated, Shahren explained that JP will maintain small made-to-order production.

“This is also because we have only one shoe-making machine in the workshop. So we will offer custom-made shoes based on individual needs, from the type of leather material to colours and designs.

“At the moment, the students are making prototypes for various kinds of footwear to [work out] the design, features to the costing involved. When they gain more knowledge and skills, they can come up with their shoes for sale at JP galleries,” he said.

In the future, Shahren pointed out, JP and Centexs Commercial will consider engaging and collaborating with external manufacturers to mass produce shoes designed by JP.

“There is always possibility and opportunity for collaborations because Centexs Commercial was established with a vision of becoming the frontier in commercialising the heritage and digital products of Sarawak by 2030.

“We want our community to participate as well. We hope that local people and industries will benefit from these economic opportunities and help grow the fashion industry in Sarawak, apart from being a focal point for tourism products,” he added.

The shoe-making machine in the workshop at Juma’ani Pavilion.

Juma’ani Pavilion, located at Vista Tunku Petra Jaya in Jalan Gersik here, offers unique or exclusive, luxury to ready-to-wear fashion products ranging from wearables and accessories to household ware with cultural heritage elements created and produced by Centexs designers, trainers and Centexs graduates who are highly talented and skillful.

It features Premium and Artisan galleries, a photo studio, spaces for textile and fabric showcases including songket and keringkam, and workshop areas equipped with a 3D body scanner, fabric printer and shoe-making machine for local artisans and fashion designers. — DayakDaily