Cover The JC Penthouse is a serene space designed for Choo in the heart of Kuala Lumpur

Designed for Datuk Jimmy Choo, this penthouse suite by award-winning OD&A encapsulates the iconic shoe designer’s essence

Datuk Jimmy Choo needs no introduction. The Malaysian designer, who created an international shoe brand name-checked by fashionistas and beloved by celebrities, has a penthouse in Kuala Lumpur designed around his tastes and personality by OD&A. Located in the Star Residences, the property clocks in at 1,754 sqft and is nicknamed the ‘JC Penthouse’.

A project of such significance required a designer of the right calibre, hence OD&A, which is helmed by interior designer IDr* Ooi Boon Seong, an award-winning designer and a respected figure in the industry. (*Editor's note: Registered Interior Designers in Malaysia prefix an IDr in front of their name.)

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Above IDr Ooi Boon Seong, Datuk Jimmy Choo, Michele Liew

“We were introduced to Jimmy Choo by my friend, Michele Liew, who is also Choo’s business partner. As Star Residence’s brand ambassador, he was gifted a penthouse and Liew was our key person in the conceptualisation process when it came to understanding the designer’s likes and dislikes as well as his current lifestyle needs,” recalls Ooi.

“As designers, we welcome the rare opportunity to collaborate with renowned designers in their field—especially a global fashion icon like Choo."

He adds: “The challenge was to conceptualise a design that captures and reflects his essence and personal identity, and transforming that information into a unique spatial experience.”

After inspecting the site, Ooi realised that this penthouse would be the perfect venue for Choo to entertain his guests and friends in central Kuala Lumpur. He also wanted to transform the space into an inspirational hub for him to display and work on his beautiful new creations.

The overall inspiration for this project was understanding the life story of Choo. “We did a deep dive into his life’s journey to create a home that celebrates his legacy and influence. Since many of Choo’s designs are bespoke for his esteemed clients, we wanted each piece to have personal touches as well,” enthuses Ooi.

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Upon entering the penthouse, one is immediately transported into a luxurious modern-classic space that balances Choo’s past and present. As one explores the space, guests will discover fine details that reflects Choo’s identity.

Staying true to Choo’s local Asian heritage, Ooi made sure to incorporate cultural and nostalgic elements from the designer’s upbringing. Touches of oriental flair can be seen throughout the home but is especially evident in the junior master guest bedroom which is decked out in a tropical green hue and oriental style wall covering and décor pieces.

One of the highlights is the study room which also functions as an inspiration room for Choo to work in. This exquisite room showcases full height display shelves with all his past awards and achievements, spanning from end-to-end as a backdrop for his work desk. The room itself opens up to a magnificent view of the Kuala Lumpur city scape, itself a great source of inspiration.

When it came to the overall colour palette, the striking blue was inspired by Choo’s unique sense of style. To ensure the finished product was one that was relaxing yet exuding a sense of refinement, Ooi was careful to select and combine the appropriate materials as it was important that quality was not compromised in the pursuit of aesthetics.

In terms of spatial planning, Ooi made sure that the layout planning allowed for flexibility, which was achieved by clearly separating the social areas from the private quarters. A combined social area comprising the living, dining and lifestyle bar area was created by opening up the previously enclosed kitchen.

“By opening it up, the whole area now serves a unified purpose that allows Choo to entertain his guests and host events in a spacious setting. An interesting feature in this space is also the pocket door that disappears into the walls which effectively separates the living area from the private quarters,” muses Ooi.

“We wanted to make sure that the design provided Choo with the option of using this space for his social gatherings as well as a private getaway to rest whenever he wishes.”

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As any shoe designer will tell you, what sets good apart from great is the details and to this end, Ooi took great care in every aspect of the design. Materials were thoughtfully chosen to further the designer’s vision. “We used a lot of white oak timber panelling with classic motifs throughout the home. These panels were sandblasted to emphasise the beautiful grain textures and finished with a coat of soothing grey paint,” explains Ooi.

Another interesting material was the stainless steel finished in titanium brass coating: “Brass in the custom-made furniture provided a highly refined finish that ties the modern and the classic nicely.”

Consideration was also given to choosing eco-friendly materials like Italian engineered slabs. This replacement for natural stone can be seen in the lifestyle bar and dining area.

“The bar island’s counter top is finished with a large piece of Italian engineered slab that’s strong and versatile yet has a minimal thickness, making it much easier to handle. Its impressive technical specifications make it an excellent option for countertops,” states Ooi.

An homage to Choo’s legacy of bespoke shoe designs, many of the furniture pieces were designed specifically for Choo. “We worked with local furniture makers who are our longtime partners for the pieces such as the dining table, side tables, coffee table, console table, study desk, and dresser. Choo’s initials were carefully incorporated into the design form of each bespoke piece and finished in stainless steel titanium brass coating,” explains Ooi. “We also worked closely with our lighting specialist to come up with the perfect lighting and even imported some lights all the way from Austria!”

All artwork were specially printed and framed by Ooi’s trusted framer and art suppliers, while decorative items and accessories were either bought online or locally sourced by his team of designers.

As Choo tours the pied-à-terre that was specifically designed for him, he seems right at home in this show-stopping space that is a luxurious expression of his personality and design ethos. Memorable design is about good storytelling, and Ooi has certainly succeeded to do that with this penthouse.

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