Many readers will probably recognise the name Beatrix Ong. The shoe designer is one of Hong Kong’s fashion success stories – raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, she became a name to watch when she became a creative director of Jimmy Choo in her 20s. In 2002 she launched her eponymous shoe brand, and went on to collaborate with the likes of Nike and Globe Trotter. Her designs are even part of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection.
After a long break from the fashion world, Beatrix makes a comeback this month with a new concept collection that is quite a departure from her classic yet quirky style. For a start she has ditched the saturated luxury market and decided to create a more “democratic” collection that is designed with sustainability in mind (for example, each pair features insoles made from charcoal and bamboo – no smelly feet here! – and are only available on pre-order so there is no waste).
But more than the social message, the shoes are cool and easy to wear. Right now there is only one unisex style available – again it’s designed to be worn season after season, rather than throwaway fashion – called the Wen. Part brogue, part trainer, it pays tribute to her East-meets-West background as the deisgn references the traditional British plimsoll and the rubber shoes worn by Beijingers. We love it because its sporty and formal at the same time. Plus the red “X” on the back of every shoe makes you feel like you’ve joined some cool fashion club.
Needless to say the Wen will be replacing our beloved slip on trainers this season!