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    My City LIfe: James Fox

    The brand director at heritage British shoemaker Crockett & Jones on 007, Succession and the Southbank Centre

    Where in London do you live and/or work?

    My time is mainly focused on the West End, where our three main London flagships are in close proximity to each other.


    What’s your earliest memory of London?

    I was 13, performing in the live final of BBC Radio 2’s Young Chorister of the Year. At the time I was head chorister of St Mary’s choir in Warwick and, unbeknown to me, it turned out that I was a fairly talented vocalist. To win a nationally recognised competition gave me some incredible experiences at such a young age. Granted, I’d probably rather have been a professional golfer…


    What makes London special to you?

    Living in London presents a different side to the city. My wife and I would spend time walking, shopping and socialising, and you can’t help but experience the real side of London; a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. I specifically remember having three lunches one Sunday afternoon at the Southbank Centre Food Market – partly because I can eat like a horse, but mainly because, how do you choose just one?

    The food market at The Southbank Centre


    What are some of your favourite places in London?

    There are far too many to choose from, but the Royal Albert Hall is remarkable in every way. It is one of the only venues where attending an event still feels like an event! Many occasions have made it very special to me, none more so than when, as part of the BBC Symphony Chorus, I performed in Not the Messiah alongside the cast of Monty Python. To watch the genius of Eric Idle up close was something I will treasure forever, and for all of his hard work to come together in the most impressive amphitheatre in the UK was breathtaking. More recently – and in total contrast to the above – with Crockett & Jones being an official partner of EON, the production company behind James Bond, we were presented with premier tickets to the latest and greatest Bond film, No Time to Die. Our shoes really do look impressive when they are on a 20m screen, Europe’s largest cinema.


    How would you describe London in three words?

    Commercial, historic, stylish.


    What pair of Crockett & Jones shoes do you think epitomises the quintessentially London style?

    The million-dollar question, and to be honest, it depends on location. Our bestsellers in the City will be a pair of black calf loafers or Oxfords. Go west to Jermyn Street and you can take your pick, they all sell well. You won’t go too far wrong with a tassel (Cavendish) or penny (Boston) loafer in the summer, or a pair of suede chukkas (Chiltern) or cap Derby boots (Coniston) for the autumn.


    What’s your usual morning routine?

    Depending on what time my daughters decide to wake up the entire house, without fail, my beloved spaniel Gracie and I escape the madness of a household that harbours a two- and five-year-old as quickly as we possibly can. I’ll have a spot of breakfast if there’s any left (my two-year-old is a gannet), coffee and then on to work (with the dog in tow).

    What do you do to keep a good work-life balance?

    Being a dad aside, although my kids are my number one stress relievers, I swim. It’s worth getting into if you are a parent or, dare I say, a husband. If you put your head underwater, you can’t hear a thing. My other passion is cars, so I also take time to tinker with my Lotus, driving it when I can afford fuel!


    What’s the best film or TV show you’ve seen in the past 6 months?

    I love films and sport, mainly Formula 1. Amusingly though, I have recently got into Succession (family business etc) and, to my utter surprise, a demand is issued to get down to Crockett & Jones for a pair of cap toe Oxfords in season 1, episode 3.


    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

    Control the controllables. I swear by it.


    Visit Crockett & Jones at The Royal Exchange to discover the spring/summer range