The designer created an empire that gained global admiration.
By Mary Elizabeth Collins
In just a few years, the shoes and accessories firm Jimmy Choo has become a worldwide empire thanks to its unsurpassed standards of quality, design and good taste. These qualities have catapulted the company— founded in London in 1996— to the highest strata in the complicated world of luxury fashion footwear.
The Jimmy Choo label bears the name of the Malaysian shoemaker who began with a small workshop located in London’s East End, handcrafting custom-made footwear. His creations caught the attention of the British nobility and celebrities, reaching even the glamorous Princess Di, for whom Choo created several designs.
Fit for the movies
Mr. Choo retired from the company in 2001, leaving his niece, Sandra Choi as the creative director. Up to that point, Sandra had been in charge of designs for the company.
The beauty of the innovative designs and exceptional Italian craftsmanship—and the fact that the quality remained unchanged— attracted a sophisticated clientele almost since its inception. Also, Jimmy Choo, a pioneer in the art of dressing celebrities, took his shoes and handbags to Hollywood, where the red carpet proved to be the ideal stage to showcase his product.
The popularity of the brand increased when Jimmy Choo’s shoes appeared in the popular series Sex and the City. Today, his creations are worn by celebrities, international royalty, musicians and heads of state.
Around the world
The first Jimmy Choo store opened in 1996 in Motcomb Street, London, complementing its distribution in some of the most prestigious multi-brand stores in the world. Two years later, the company expanded to the United States with the opening of separate stores in New York and Beverly Hills.
Today, we can find Jimmy Choo in the most fashion-forward streets in the world, such as Sloane Street and Bond Street in London; Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Via Condotti in Rome, Madison Avenue in New York, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Ginza in Tokyo.
Within the firm's impressive creative variety, there is also a delicate shoe proposal for the 21st-century man who wants to look cool and elegant.
"Today’s man, the one I see on the streets, is free from the past codes, he is committed to jumping over the established lines between what is formal and informal to show a true expression of his personality," says Sandra Choi.
The Jimmy Choo men's collections consist of models that could have been considered informal in the past, but with a twist in their design that makes them exceptional pieces. His dress shoes, motorcycle boots, loafers, sneakers and shoes for the home are highly appreciated because they show a design that is informal, yet elegant.
We must mention the precise Italian manufacture by master craftsmen that shape hides and skins of the highest quality—and complement them with exclusive metal buckles—making every pair of Jimmy Choo men’s shoes, unique and exceptional.
Photos by Jimmy Choo. ■
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