Over a hot cup of peppermint tea at CoffeeStain by Joseph (here for more) at Parkamaya on a cosy Sunday afternoon, I sat down with my fashion designer friend, Jimmy Lim, after so many years. You know, at times, you have friends whom you only get a chance to meet once in a blue moon (or bumped into occasionally), yet, each time your encounter with them, it hit a deep chord in your heart and you can just picked up from where you left off, no fuss, no elaborate mundane chats, but real talks, and you are “old friends”, all over again, just that simple. I have a few of such friends and Jimmy is definitely one of them. We first met way back in 2007, when we were fresh out, just started our own production company, PATJENN FILM, and mifa8 Fashion Forward was our very first TV Program that we had the pleasure to work on, and that was where I met Jimmy. Co-incidentally, that was also his very first Malaysian come-back fashion show that he did, for he has long since resided and established a name in New Zealand with his self titled fashion label, and has already won many internationally acclaimed awards then! We hit it off straightaway and talked about anything and everything. Here are some snippets of our conversation:
How was it being back here in Malaysia now? It’s been crazy busy, one thing after another, Jenn! First the move from New Zealand, then comes the KLIF (Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2013), Fahrenheit88 Pop-up Store right after, and now my new outlet opening at Parkamaya! I have also started stocking up at Bangsar Telawi 2, can you believe it? Things happened so fast since I came back. It’s crazy busy but nice kinda crazy. (He has a huge grin on his still boyish-looking face).What made you decide to come back, really? Gosh, you know I have been based in New Zealand for the longest time, I love it there, honestly. It has been great but travelling back and forth between these two places, gradually takes a toll on me. I am neither here, nor there. At times, it’s hard for people to reach me. We are, in a very people oriented kind of business, your clients, your media friends, they all need to be interacting with you, it’s your personal touch and service that matter, so I decided it’s time for me to come back to Malaysia. As you age, Jenn, your heart seems to yearn for something more meaningful, and one of it , is being back home to your roots, closer to your culture. Funny enough though, it was that one odd incident that pushed me to actually make that shift in mind. (What was that? My eyes wide opened. I was so excited to find out what actually made Jimmy come to that life-turning point decision he recently made) It was when I was watching this Singaporean movie by Michelle Chong, called ALREADY FAMOUS. One of the scenes, the old lady character said, “If you don’t get to do what you love, what would be the meaning of life? And Longevity will be utterly meaningless”. It struck me, at that instant. How true! It triggered me to just follow my heart, to come back to Malaysia, to be in Asia. Partly, it also has to do with Dato Jimmy Choo, whom I met few years back in London. He was the first person who told me, I should bring my business and beyond, expand it in Asia! That was what I remembered. Now, I am back here, and I have never been happier. What does the Jimmy Lim brand represent? There are three elements to my design. It is always functional, with added elements of tradition and sportiness. I have always believed that fashion has to be function and wearable. To me, fashion is not real until it is worn. Fashion has to make sense to people on the streets, people who are living their lives and people who are, ultimately your clients wearing your designs and clothes. That’s crucial for me. It only make sense. Having said that, I do have high admiration for designers who make couture their fashion vision. I absolutely salute that part of the passion, totally!
Our chat went onto something more personal, at times wicked, but never boring. Stay tuned to this space for part 2 of our peppermint tea conversation! For more of Jimmy’s award-winning work and background, do check out the official website here.
Stay luminous and be fabulous! You can get your fix of Jimmy’s high casual ready to wear pieces now @ Parkkayama, Fahrenheit88, 3rd Floor and SeeThrough Concept Store at Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar. Happy shopping!