For a certified fashion girl, Kim de Guzman Lim is uncharacteristically practical.
“I like practical things that I actually use,” says the former magazine fashion editor and stylist, and now entrepreneur, the woman who brought the cult ballet flats brand Cocorose London to the Philippines.
It was while pregnant with her daughter in 2011 while on vacation in London that the young woman discovered Cocorose London, first at the upscale Fortnum & Mason, then later at an orthopedic store. Intrigued, the avowed flats girl bought herself a pair.
“I used it to death!” she says.
Thus began Lim’s love affair with the brand, founded in 2007 by another young woman, a half-Thai, half-Cypriot Londoner named Janan Leo, who visited the Philippines for the first time recently.
Cocorose London isn’t like most foldable ballet flats, those convenient slip-in-your-purse affairs but have so flimsy soles they’re more a pain than a relief to slip into.
Cocorose London pairs are designed for comfort, with orthopedic double cushioning on the front sole and heel base. The soles are made entirely of nonslip traction rubber with a 5-mm heel. Ergo, they’re shoes you can wear all day, and not just as a respite from your stilettos.
The nonslip feature is a must for a working woman like Lim who’s always on the go, and has a toddler to boot. After a yearlong stint in glossies, Lim went on to study luxury brand management in Paris. Apart from managing her K-Luxe Inc. brands, she also works part-time in the family business.
The shoes are made of either the softest lambskin, calfskin, vegan leather, pony, exotic skins, suede, or fabric, depending on the style. Each pair comes in its matching case, with a folded drawstring bag for your high heels.
“We all like to wear nice things,” Lim notes. “I have Chanels that are so painful. In the end, I’m practical, but I don’t want to sacrifice style. Cocorose London are pretty comfy and stylish. I get compliments whenever I wear them. People stop me on the streets to ask where I got them.”
The brand has been a hit among Filipino women, says the president of K-Luxe Inc. Lim has chosen to bring in the core collections called Classic Elegance and Diffusion, with prices starting at P2,650, which she felt was realistically accessible to the local market. A capsule collection created in collaboration with the Royal Ballet of London is also available here.
Cocorose London has a freestanding boutique in Glorietta 5, Makati City, and is also available in ava.ph, Flatshop Glorietta 3, Greenhills and Eastwood, Pormada, and Rustan’s Alabang Town Center, Rustan’s Makati, Rustan’s Tower.
Ballet Philippines partnership
In echoing the brand’s Royal Ballet collaboration, K-Luxe Inc. recently launched a partnership with Ballet Philippines, in which purchases of any style from www.cocorose.ph would allow shoppers to donate to the dance company’s scholarship fund. (Simply input the “cocorosebp” code to donate 10 percent of the purchase price. Promo runs until March 2015.)
“Not a lot of people know that you can donate to the dance company for the training of a new generation of dancers, and we’re happy to announce that Cocorose London’s advocacy in the Philippines is to do this,” Lim said. “I think it’s important that we support the arts because it uplifts us.”
For Ballet Philippines’ performances of Alice Reyes’ “Cinderella” on Dec. 5 (3 p.m. and 8 p.m.), Dec. 6 (10 a.m. and 6 p.m.) and Dec. 7 (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.) at the CCP Main Theater, Cocorose London will be showcasing its Fall-Winter 2014 collection. A percentage of the sales will go to the Ballet Philippines Foundation.