BEIJING - Datuk Jimmy Choo has been honoured as one of the most influential Chinese personalities in the field of arts and culture.
The internationally-renowned Malaysian shoe designer had become the first Malaysian to receive the "You Bring Charm to the World - World's Most Influential Chinese Award" from Phoenix Television in China under the arts and culture category at Peking University two weeks ago.
The award under the same category was also given to Hong Kong actress Deanie Ip, who won 15 best actress awards worldwide.
As a Chinese of Hakka descent, Datuk Jimmy Choo was very moved and honoured to be given the award.
"When I first started designing my own shoes, no one would buy them even though the price was only £50 (S$100)," said Choo.
"But today, Jimmy Choo has become a household name and I am proud that I am able to bring honour to the Chinese community because of my name."
Last year, Choo had also won the prestigious "The World's Outstanding Chinese Designer 2011" Design for Asia award.
When asked whether his designs are influenced by Western or Eastern culture, Choo said he used a mix of both cultures and traditions in his shoe designs because he always remembered his Chinese roots.
He added that he was proud of his Chinese name Choo Yeang Keat (pronounced "Zhou Yang Jie" in Mandarin) and urged Chinese people to believe in themselves.
"Everything in the world is the same - there is no East or West.
"The most important thing is that your design is elegant, beautiful and comfortable, and you will be successful," said Choo.
Other notable ethnic Chinese personalities who had won the "You Bring Charm to the World Award" this year include New York Knicks rising basketball star Jeremy Lin and Chinese scientists Zhenyi and Chen Zhu for their research work in cancer treatment.