Jimmy Choo is a luxury brand that was founded in 1996 by Malaysian shoemaker Jimmy Choo and British fashion designer Tamara Mellon. With great success since the very beginning, we all know the brand is part of the most well-known ones around the world.
The company’s shoe designs have been worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, and many others.
We can just keep going about how popular it has grown to be, but what we are interested in the most are the aspects many ignore: how such a good fashion brand was born.
There’s a lot of history behind this company, and it is quite exciting to review the founders’ lives and how they have worked hard to bring the brand to what it is today.
So, to give it a different approach, what about going over the aspects others don’t care about at all? We are confident you will fall in love with the brand even more.
Who Is Jimmy Choo? – What You Must Know
Entering the life of this great designer, you will be ecstatic to learn that, unlike other fashion designers, he really didn’t start too early in his life in this industry. But before getting there, let’s review some basic info:
Born on November 15, 1948, in Penang, Malaysia, Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat is now 73 years old and with a great career behind his back.
Choo, the son of a shoemaker, was immersed from an early age in the world of shoemaking. Choo was encouraged by his father to follow in his footsteps and made his first pair at age 11.
The designer recalls that his dad wouldn’t allow him to make a single shoe when he started. Instead, he told the now great designer to just watch all the process over and over again to the point of doing it for months.
Choo learned from his father the art of shoemaking and made his way to England in the early 1980s to attend the Cordwainers Technical College Hackney, from where he graduated in 1983 with high honors.
With his presence in the area, Choo decided to stay in England and opened his first shop in Hackney in 1986, in an old hospital building.
To the luck of the designer, Choo’s fame quickly grew. Two years after Choo opened his shop, his shoes were featured on an eight-page spread of Vogue magazine.
Soon Jimmy was the star of the celebrity world. One of the main people who would come to love his work was Princess Diana, who wore Choo’s shoes almost everywhere she went.
His relationship with Vogue would be crucial in the success of the Jimmy Choo brand. Choo’s popularity was not enough to make 20 pairs of shoes per week.
However, Tamara Yeardye Mellon (an accessories editor at Vogue) saw a bigger market for Choo’s creations and hired him to make shoes for fashion shoots. She even approached the shoemaker about creating a line of ready-to-wear footwear.
Choo and Mellon quickly built the business together, focusing on high-end footwear but not relying on the notion that Choo must make each pair. They opened their first boutique in London after securing Italian factories.
Deciding to Go Back to His Roots
At the time of this footwear collection and the first boutique, the Choo brand was well-known worldwide, and the century came to an end with it being the top luxury option among people.
In addition to his shoes, Choo also decided to include new items to bring more options and popularity. They included handbags and accessories.
However, as big as the company was growing, things were not going as planned. Choo and Mellon disagreed about the company’s direction.
Choo, unlike Tamara, disagreed in her vision of how bigger was better in what would be one of the fascinating rifts within the fashion industry.
The main problem for the designer is how he was skeptical about the quality of the shoes being made by the company and longed for the days when he could still make a few pieces of footwear for clients at his Hackney shop.
As a result, Choo sold his share of the company to Robert Bensoussan, Equinox Luxury Holdings, for $30 million in 2001 and decided to go on his own with his company’s progress.
Thus, Jimmy went back at his roots in a shop he opened in London that serves as headquarters for Jimmy Choo Couture. Choo makes a limited number of shoes per week here and trains a few students on how to make high-end footwear.
He remains in this process of making a specific number of shoes and just offering his knowledge to the new generation.
A Look Inside His Personal Life
Going into another perspective, we can get to know some more about the shoemaker today.
First, Choo is a Buddhist devout, and education is a major part of his daily life. He has been an ambassador for footwear education at London College of Fashion in recent years and a spokesperson for the British Council’s efforts to reach foreign students.
Choo was also awarded the O.B.E. and remained part of several educational centers.
Despite his successes, Choo has faced backlash.
The designer’s commercial featuring Cara Delevingne, model and actress, was released in late 2017. It featured a scene where she struts down the street surrounded by pedestrians and catcalls.
This led to accusations that Choo’s executives were tone-deaf.
On another, he has a daughter and a son and lives in London with Rebecca, his wife.
Besides his general contribution to education and shoewear, he has also set new projects many people look forward to.
One of them includes the vision to set a shoemaking institute in Malaysia and launch exhibitions in several art galleries.
Finally, Jimmy Choo, the company, remains at the top in shoewear collections and items and is synonymous with high-end footwear celebrities and all-day consumers continue to love.
Why People Love Jimmy Choo’s Shoes
If you’re looking for a creative and innovative brand over 90% of the time, you will find yourself looking at Jimmy Choo and the creations you can find.
It takes a combination of passion and vision to survive the difficult world of fashion. However, the brand seems to be doing more than just simply well, thanks to its foundations and how the original designer it takes its name after has influenced the standards.
Now, apart from the basic black, red, and nude court shoes that every shoe designer has in their arsenal, Jimmy Choo’s designs are distinctive.
Shoes made from the best hides, such as nubuck, deer, nubuck, and vachetta, are designed to appeal to women who want to stand out in a sea filled with banality.
They often have embellishments that include lace, stones, and studs. The brand’s shoes have transcended fashion and become an integral part of society and culture, despite the unquestionable perfection of their designs.
Going over details and facts many people don’t know is that, for starters and ironically, Jimmy Choo has gained more popularity since the departures of the designer and Tamara Mellon, his co-founder, in 2001.
The brand is now a multimillion-dollar success story with Sandra Choi as the creative director. Choi had to go beyond the brand’s glamorous lines in order to reach this level.
As creative director, her rise opened up doors to endless social media profiles. She began designing shoes for the brand as soon as she could. “Flat biker boots,” snakeskin sneakers, and pompom-adorned heels were added to the already existing line of shoes.
However, the brand’s popularity isn’t only about the current director but also the fame it built years prior.
From an English Rose to a Modern Prince, the shoes of a few Jimmy Choo have carried the weight of the royals. After all, Mr. Choo’s design philosophy is based on affinitive sensibilities.
His creations attract iconic women, who, despite their regality, manage to be charming to all walks of society. Two members of the English royals have put their well-sloped feet into a pair of Choo’s: Diana Princess of Wales, as we early mentioned, and Kate Duchess of Cambridge.
These two women are well-known for their style and substance. However, they also have a warm aura that many people can relate to.
In other aspects, the shoes created by the previous designer and now Choi as the head director are completely different from what you find today.
Using bold colors, high-quality materials, and patterns no other shoemakers would be willing to risk themselves going for, they have marked new standards in this part of the industry.
Buying the Best Shoes: Prices & Items
With all that background check and the reasons why most people love the brand, do you believe we can finally enter the price section?
We know you’re eager to know where it is possible or not to buy (self)gift a pair of Jimmy Choo’s best designs, and we have to admit that we have gotten to the point of giving away at least one of those pairs.
Did it hurt our pockets? Kind of. Were they worth it? Absolute yes.
Now, for the prices, keep in mind that we only focus on averages and pretty much include all designs or styles in one category. However, we will do our best to make the numbers as accurate as possible.
- Women’s shoes: this collection includes a wide range of styles, including pumps, boots, sneakers, sandals, platforms, flats, bridal, and many more. Prices often start at $250 with slippers and go up to $6,250 for designs like Alia and Allure, including precious stones and classic stilettos.
- Men’s shoes: sneakers, slides, boots, casual and dress shoes are part of this collection. They also start at $250 and go up to $5,500 for special designs like JC X Timberland boots.
- Handbags: clutch, shoulder, hobo, tote, crossbody, and many other bags’ styles are available. Starting at $250 and going up to $7,000.
- Accessories: sunglasses, wallets, belts, and many more. Start at $65, and higher prices include softphone holders and wallets at about $1,000.
- Bridal collections: an entire boutique and part of the brand are dedicated to brides only. Shoes start at $595 and go all the way up to $4,700.
- Beauty merchandise: this includes makeup and fragrance. For the first, prices start at $48 and go up to $65. In the case of fragrances, you can get most of them for $220.
You can also find a sales category where you can get some discounts and amazing options to finally get some designs from the fashion house, especially from the ready-to-wear line.
If you’re in doubt of getting any when compared to other brands like Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Mario Prada, Louis Vuitton, and many others, just have a look at the online store, and you will learn more details of why it is a favorite in footwear at least.
Celebrities & Jimmy Choo: All-Time Favorite
As we mentioned on several occasions, part of the brand’s popularity is thanks to how many popular figures and celebrities have chosen to wear it. In fact, it is even strange for any of them not to have at least one pair.
Going back to our mention about Diana Princess of Wales and Kate Duchess of Cambridge, we also have many other famous people taking part in campaigns, building the company’s popularity, but also wearing them for how much they love it.
Hailey Baldwin Bieber is one of the current models you can even have a look at on their website.
Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, and Chloe Moretz are just a few of the celebrities endorsed by the brand but also taking part in some campaigns.
As for those who wear it for the sake of looking amazing, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, and Demi Lovato are many more we can add to the list.
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