If there was one person who we would pick to be our industry insider, it would be Sunny Shum. Well-known blogger and shoe addict, Sunny dishes out on how she became involved in the shoe industry, how her insanely popular blog, partlySunny, started, as well as her favourite spots to chow down in Vancouver.
Photo credit: Paul Melo
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I love shoes, I love hangbags, I love clothes. I also love eating and I am not quite sure how I’ve been able to maintain my figure all these years. I must thank my parents for their genes. If I was not in the footwear and apparel industry I think I would be involved in the food industry in some shape or form.
I have strong values and I try to make sure it is reflected in all aspects of my personal and work lives. I believe in hard work, earning your stripes and I cannot stand the “feeling entitled” attitude.
I feel that I have two distinct sides to “me”. Because I travel frequently for work and have to be social most times, I really take a back seat when it comes to my personal life. I enjoy spending quiet time with my loved ones and making my home, “home”.
Q: How did you get started in the business that you’re in?
A: I did what everyone else did. Went to school got all my diplomas and degrees and I started working retail at age 15 – this was where it all started. I worked many jobs, jumping from one retail store to another. I finally got my first Visual Merchandising position at Aritzia and from there I was introduced to the fashion wholesale business. I worked 7 years as a Regional Sales & Marketing Manager for the Sixty Group, building international brands such as Miss Sixty, Energie, Sixty and Killah. From there, I was connected to Sterling Shoes LP and landed an amazing career in shoes. I can give you a long description about all my functions and responsibilities, but simply put, I buy shoes for 75 stores across Canada.
www.partlysunny.ca was created about a year ago. With all my experience in the industry I wanted to get it all this information and my findings onto one page. It’s grown from a little blog to something more substantial thanks to all my supportive readers. partlySunny is in the middle of a “re-vamp” so look forward to a new look in the next couple months.
Q: Where do you draw your fashion influences from?
A: I draw my inspirations from all different places and from all types of things, not just clothes. I believe style is how one puts themselves together and it’s not just about labels. I think a lot of people make a big mistake in mixing fashion for style. Not all fashion is suitable for everyone. If I had to pick some known figures as people I admire for their sense of style and for what they stand for, they would be: Andrey Tautou – I fell in love with her natural beauty in the movie “Amelie”, Coco Chanel – Classic sophistication, Alexa Chung – She’s uber hip and cool and Sienna Miller – I loved her in “Alfie” and I think she’s darn cute.
Q: What are your favourite Vancouver hot spots?
A: Medina Cafe for brunch. I can’t name my favourite restaurant as there are too many. But I do favour Italian so these come to mind: Italian Kitchen, La Quercia, La Buca, Il Giardino and Campagnolo. I’m not big on night clubs but I love lounges and I am currently admiring the atmosphere at the Keefer and the new Pacific Rim Fairmont Hotel. For cheap eats, I love my ramen and pho so you’ll find me at some hole in the wall place in the city somewhere.
Q: What are your biggest indulgences?
A: Cupcakes, Chinese egg tarts, chocolate from Thomas Haas, Haagen Dazs Vanilla Almond Chocolate ice cream, mango bubble tea and CHEESE. All types of CHEESE.
Q: Who would you want to walk in the shoes of for a day?
A: That’s simple. 3 people: Anna Wintour Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, Tamara Mellon President & Co-Founder of Jimmy Choo and Frida Giannini Creative Director of Gucci.
Q: What’s something that’s on your wish list?
A: It changes daily but currently on my wish list: the Louis Vuitton Sofia Coppola Speedy and YSL Imperiale Platform shoes.
Q: How do you show your Kitty?
A: Whenever and wherever I can. It’s always in my wallet and like a credit card. I don’t leave home without it.