WHENEVER I’M WITH YOU

Edwina Hagon, RUSSH

Ask Australian-born, L.A.-based shoe designer Emily Cooper-Given what makes a house a home and without skipping a beat she’ll tell you it’s those she holds closest. “Wherever I am as long as I have my son and husband or a member of my family, I feel at home.”

The large 1940s-built California bungalow she shares with husband Lachie and eight-month-old son Giacomo may be found in the state’s better-known postcode, 90210 (“yes, Brenda and Brandon live here too”), but don’t be mistaken, Cooper-Given says it’s the simple things that bring her joy: a morning spent “cooking breakfast then jumping back into bed with a coffee and hanging with my boys” followed by “a barbecue lunch and an afternoon spent by the pool”.

A collector from way back, the designer and Creative Director of footwear label Meandher has a vigilant eye for interesting pieces. “I began young with coins that I inherited from my grandmother, moving onto baseball cards then vintage cameras and now magnets from the places we have been with my son.” More recently, a love of traditional craftsmanship has contributed to a burgeoning collection of shoe relics – traditional creations, craftsman’s tools, details, miniatures, lasts, punches and leathers – gathered from all corners of the globe. Coffee table books also hold high ranking – Koons, Newton and Klimt, to name just a few, sit in piles, eternally close at hand for easy reference.

Pared back yet lived-in, Cooper-Given clearly knows a good thing when she sees it. Like the pair of wooden chairs picked up at Ralph Lauren Home while out shopping for kitchen knives. “We still don’t have a good set of knives but we do have a great set of ‘grade school chairs’, as my husband likes to call them,” she says.

And among her most treasured pieces: a pocket watch from her grandmother; a miniature clay model of her grandfather sitting by the pool; and two Fred Cress prints, a gift from her parents. For Cooper-Given, family is key. And home, well, that’s wherever they are, of course.

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