An Education: Jimmy Choo Academy Students to Design Uniform for Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

SMART DESIGN: Valeria Peeva and Maxi Purton, students at Jimmy Choo’s JCA London Fashion Academy, have won a competition to design the staff uniform for the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

The students took inspiration from the city’s architecture, which will be out later this year for the catering, reception and housekeeping teams.

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The sketches from the pair of designers show a relaxed take on uniforms with relaxed trousers; cropped and sleeveless sweaters, and deconstructing the classic blazer by giving it a softer edge.

They picked up their prize on Thursday at the institution.

Niamh Nowlan, another student at the academy was presented with an award for her print design which will be used across student merchandise.
Niamh Nowlan won an award for her print design.

Niamh Nowlan, another student at the academy, was presented with an award for her print design which will be used across student merchandise.

Peeva and Purton will be given a place on the school’s Oxford Venture Series program, which includes three six- to eight-week tutor support and live lessons for new entrepreneurs. The short program usually costs 5,100 pounds.

“I am really self-critical, and I often won’t do something unless I feel confident I can do it perfectly. But I put myself out there on this with my best friend and it has given me a real sense of confidence in my work. The biggest prize for me is that we’ll be able to come to Oxford and see our work in real life, it’s such a buzz to think people will be wearing clothes we created, for years to come,” said Purton.

“I always wanted to get into fashion and told myself when I turned 18, I would go for it. Now I’ve turned 18 and this has happened, it’s brilliant. We’re also quite young, so I feel this award will help us to prove ourselves and our talent,” added Peeva.

Jimmy Choo, the Malaysian footwear designer, opened the doors to his JCA London Fashion Academy in 2021 on Hanover Square opposite a green park that’s within walking distance of the Condé Nast offices and London’s luxury shopping destination, Bond Street.

“I love the fashion shops here. The student can go and see many things here,” Choo said in an interview with WWD, adding that the students’ safety comes first, hence why he’s chosen a location that’s renowned enough to put worried parents’ minds at ease when they send their children off to study.

When the academy launched, it took on 30 undergraduates and five MA students from the U.K. For the second year, the academy opened applications to international students, while still intending to keep numbers under capacity by introducing short courses in September and a summer school for 13- to 17-year-olds.

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