My Favorite Thing: Ian Callum

The Jaguar styling chief—a designer of icons—waxes rhapsodic on the design icons he can’t live without.

byBrett Berk|
Culture photo

As design director for Jaguar, Ian Callum is responsible for the brand’s contemporary (and in our opinion, exquisite) take on venerable British sporting luxury, penning gorgeous vehicles such as the current XE, XF, XJ, F-Type and the C-X75 Concept. As part of our My Favorite Thing series, we asked Callum to tell us about the one non-automotive product that he can’t live without.

My Favorite Thing: Russell & Bromley Chelsea Boots

Why I Fell in Love With Them: I’ve always had a great love for fashion. My mother had a passion for shoes, so maybe it come from there? When I was a student back in 1971, I bought a pair of green, knee-length platform boots—proper ones, like Bowie had. I paid two months of my student salary for those, and I wore them to shreds, until they were just gone. Then, once I was working in the corporate life, I got a bit lazy about fashion. When I saw these, I knew they were just done right—the right style, the right quality.

Chris Cantle

How I Learned About Them: They caught my eye in the window of their store—they’re a high street [translation: chain] store. I walked in with my partner, and she and I walked out with six pair of shoes between us. I probably have 20 pair of their shoes now, at least 5 pair of Chelsea Boots. I just bought these navy blue ones with a bright blue sole. They’re a bit trendy, but I love them.

I used to buy what I thought I could afford. But now, I’ve noted that these extra luxuries are worth it, so I treat myself. I’ve got in the habit of going into their stores because I know I’ll find something I like.

Why I Still Love Them: It’s a three-dimensional thing, I suppose, like all good design. Leather goods are the point of fashion where it meets three dimensions. We’re doing some briefcases and handbags for the Jaguar brand, and I love that process. We’re even doing a shoe collaboration with Oliver Sweeney. Driving shoes, driving loafers and a sport shoe, and it’s a fantastic process.

One model from the Oliver Sweeney/Jaguar collaboration., Chris Cantle

You can tell when people have bothered, and when they just don’t know. Russell & Bromley shoes are not very pointed, slightly chiseled, and with a tapered toe. They’re very honest, and classic.