Behind the cameras: The real life and times of Kim Jones
She has a reputation as being one of the most influential fashion voices in South East Asia, and it’s easy to see the allure with Kim Jones. Growing up in Australia, but with a British/Filipino background – Kim’s exotic beauty and elegant style has seen her attract global attention from the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, just to name a few.
But what is more admirable is just how incredibly real she remains (and that’s despite having married a movie and television star – popular Filipino actor and singer Jericho Rosales). Here, Husskie chats to Kim on everything from surviving on $2.50 to her name, colossal changes to her life, turning shoe designer with Shoes of Prey, and life beyond the digital realm.
What does a usual day in your life look like?
Every day is so different it’s hard to describe, but I love waking up early in the morning, reading emails then yoga before setting out on whatever I have planned on the day. It could be a shoot, creative meetings, team meetings or brainstorming sessions. If it’s a really good day there’ll be a Netflix session in there somewhere.
Where are you currently based?
I’m currently based in Manila, Philippines. A beautiful archipelago with a capital city that thrives with young, creative energy!
How much of the year do you spend travelling?
Who knows?! Enough to know where to navigate myself to the toilets in an aircraft with my eyes closed. So, probably too much.
Would you say you have the perfect life?
I don’t think I can say that because I think “perfect” would look a little less disorganized, but I will say that I am incredibly grateful to get to work for myself and be creatively and intellectually challenged on a daily basis. I will say I have a fulfilling life.
You gave up a career in banking to be a fashion and lifestyle influencer. Have there been any moments over the years that you questioned whether you made the right choice?
Oh, so many times. It has not been an easy road, then again, it rarely is when you decide to start your life over again. I always just held on to the idea that it was always a journey and certain challenges along the way did not indicate the end, or failure, it just meant I was doing something that pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow.
How much has your life changed over the past five years?
My life has undergone colossal change. My priorities have changed, my career goals have changed, as a woman I’ve changed. I will say that, on the flip side of six years ago, I 100 per cent pat myself on the back for making the decision to say ‘yes’ to myself and to move to another country.
Did you ever expect to be living the life you are now?
Never, but I’m a big believer in setting goals for yourself, but broad goals, goals that allow you to respond to unexpected opportunity. I always knew what success meant to me and who I wanted to be. I’m not there yet but I feel content with how far I’ve come.
Your wedding video has been viewed 1.5 million times. Is it weird to think there is such a strong interest in your relationship with Jericho?
Yes! This question was the first time I’d realised it had that many! I can understand the obsession with my husband. I mean, I’m a little obsessed with him. I’m glad people get a little kick out of such a huge milestone of ours. I hope it inspires!
Do you feel you have to be very open with your readers about your relationship with Jericho?
The world doesn’t carry a whole lot of mystery with it these days and given I work in the digital realm I am conscious about retaining a modicum of privacy when it comes to my relationships. Those are mine to savour and enjoy privately. My followers get the rest! Promise!
An actor marrying a fashion blogger is a pretty high profile relationship! Do you feel like when it’s just the two of you, you can be just like any normal couple?
We are a normal couple! We work hard, stumble across challenges, we love a good wine at night at home and are strangely obsessed with our dogs. Our following is only one tiny facet of who we are as people and who we are as a couple.
Do you have a good work/life balance?
I’d like to think so. I do find it hard to switch off my constantly racing mind but I love my quiet time and time with friends and family. That’s what is most important to me.
What can we find you doing when you’re not working?
My husband recently ignited a love for riding motorbikes in me. We both have our own bikes and love to ride together around Manila with little radios installed in our helmets so we can chat to each other. When I’m alone I’m reading, listening to podcasts or listening to Sam Cooke or some sort of jazz. I’m a homebody through and through.
What have been some of your favourite campaigns to work on? What made these stand-out?
I’m very selective when it comes to my projects so every project is unique and offers something different. My capsule collection with Shoes of Prey is definitely a favourite on so many levels. The team is amazing and so easy to work with and being able to turn inspiration into a real product is so fulfilling.
Can you tell me a bit more about your collection with Shoes of Prey?
I love Shoes of Prey’s customisation and how strong they’ve built this community of women all over the world, all connected by inspiration, creativity and of course an intense love for shoes. I really wanted my collection to feel cohesive and I wanted it to tell a story to the women that wore them. Heels have this ability to really elevate your mood and your confidence and I wanted to inject a little bit of the allure of the Italian woman into them. I made about 40 designs, whittled them down to about 15 or so, sent them to Shoes of Prey, and then shaved it down to the five pieces we have available today.
You must be offered a lot of campaigns. How do you pick which one is the right fit for you?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of brands I respect and admire and once only dreamed of working with, in many different ways. There are so many brands I admire from a business standpoint, Shoes of Prey included. There are designers I admire because of their process and their stories. There are people I admire simply because of their creative genius. But then there are also people in economics and in politics, or entrepreneurs and authors that I so admire and would love to work with. I get inspired by so many different arenas and I really try to team up with like-minded individuals. I love the art of collaboration and the merging of inspiration, views and backgrounds in order to create.
What has been your career highlight?
Definitely creating a shoe capsule collection with my name on it [in collaboration with Shoes of Prey] and next year I travel to Morocco for a speaking engagement for creative women.
And career lowlight?
Funny story. Having about $2.50 to my name and trying to figure out how to budget that $2.50. That was not fun.
What does the life and career of Kim Jones look like in five years’ time?
To continue what I’m doing now and hopefully inspiring others to go out and pursue their own crazy dreams. And to encourage those doing so to save money to avoid my $2.50 saga.