Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo (1997)- First store at Motcomb Street, London.

A British high fashion house specializing in shoes, handbags, accessories and fragrances. Founded by the brand’s namesake designer Jimmy Choo and Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon in 1996. The house has become synonymous to luxury and class, made famous by the late Diana, Princess of Wales and ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ from the nineties hit TV show, Sex and the City.


The Origin

Brand Development

Bridal Line

Jimmy Choo Style

Jimmy Choo Advertisement Campaigns

Current Situation

Jimmy Choo and Tamara Mellon-the duo who founded ‘Jimmy Choo Ltd’.

The Origin

Jimmy Choo, the brand’s founder was born in Penang, Malaysia, into a family of shoemakers in November 1948 Originally a ‘Chow’, thanks to a glitch on his birth certificate he became a ‘Choo’.

It’s often stated that Choo made his first shoe when he was just 11 years old. He was taught by his father. “When I first started, my father wouldn’t let me make a shoe”, recalls the designer. “Instead he said, ‘Sit and watch, sit and watch’. For months and months, I did that”

Choo went to study at Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney (now a part of London School of Fashion) in London in the 1980s, where the likes of Patrick Cox, Emma Hope, Lawler Duffy and Christine Ahrens also studied. To help fund his education, he even worked part-time at restaurants and as a cleaner in a shoe-factory.

Jimmy Choo graduated from college in the year 1983.

He then opened his own store in 1986 in Hackney, North London renting an old hospital building. It was around this time he started creating his iconic shoes, pointed mules, worked with snake and crocodile skin and satin. He also designed his signature skyscraper heels with leather ankle straps during this time.

Jimmy Choo shoes found a place in an eight-page spread in British Vogue in 1988, adding to the growing brand’s recognition.

In early 1990s, Choo was named the official shoemaker to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Late Princess Diana steps out in Jimmy Choo in 1997.

Brand Development

 Jimmy Choo founded his eponymous label in 1996, with former Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon who was appointed as the creative director. With a £150,000 loan from her father Mellon and Choo founded the label. The label was named, ‘Jimmy Choo Ltd’. The same year Choo’s niece Sandra Choi joined them as the co-creative director of the brand.

The duo opened a store on Motcomb Street, London a year after in 1997. The same year Diana was photographed on the red carpet wearing Jimmy Choo sling backs.

The label then set up a store on 5th Avenue, New York in 1998, conquering the American markets. This year for the first-time Vogue featured Jimmy Choo shoes as an advertisement.

At Oscars in the year 1999, Cate Blanchett wore Jimmy Choo. The first for the label to be recognized at such a prestigious event.

Jimmy Choo further rose to fame with a feature in the popular TV show at the time ‘Sex and the City’, where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ exclaims, ‘I lost my Choo’ in season 3 of the show in 2000.

After the acquisition of the brand by the Equinox Luxury Group in 2001, Jimmy Choo left the label. Mellon and co-creative director Sandra Choi stayed with the company. However, Choo dedicated himself exclusively to the Jimmy Choo Couture line and focused on external projects like, the foundation of a Shoe Institute in Malaysia. The year also marked the launch of boots for the brand.

At the 74th Academy Awards in the year 2002, Halle Berry won ‘Best Actress’ for Monster’s Ball wearing Jimmy Choo.

A new and the first line of handbags was launched in the year 2003.

Over 20 new stores had been opened by 2004 across the world, including cities- San Francisco, Boston, Milan, London and Paris with a boutique on the fashionable, rue Saint-Honoré. It was this year that Mario Testino photographed Natasha Poly for the Fall 2004 campaign.

The book ‘4 inches’ by Elton John was released in the year 2005 containing photographs of leading women of the time (Sophie Dahl, Heidi Klum, Victoria Beckham and more) wearing little or nothing but only ‘Jimmy Choo’ shoes and photographed by women photographers like Mary McCartney, Sam Taylor-Wood and Ellen von Unwerth. The proceeds of the book went to Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Jimmy Choo official website was launched in 2006. The same year Keira Knightly wore Jimmy Choo at the Golden Globes.

The year 2007 marked the launch of eyewear for the brand.

Jimmy Choo collaborated with American artist (photorealist painter) in 2008 to create S/S 2008 collection. That year Jimmy Choo was awarded the ‘Designer Brand of the Year’ by British Fashion Council.

Michelle Obama wore Jimmy Choo to the Presidential Inauguration in 2009. The label also collaborated with H&M the same year.

Simon Holloway was named the co-creative director in January 2010.

At the 82nd Academy Awards of the same year, Sandra Bullock won the ‘Best Actress’ for The Blind Side wearing Jimmy Choo Nova. Jimmy Choo trainer collection was launched this year too. And to top it off, Rihanna won two Grammys at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards wearing “Lance” sandals by Jimmy Choo.

Choo 24:7 collection was launched in 2010. It was a capsule collection featuring all their best-selling styles.

The first Jimmy Choo fragrance was launched in 2011 with Tamara Mellon as the face of the campaign. The same year “Vamp” sandals by Jimmy Choo were spotted on the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton at the black-tie event hosted by BAFTA. The same year, Tamara Mellon launched Icons, a capsule collection reinterpreting the brand’s iconic designs, naming each pair after a famous actress: Greta, Marlene, Brigitte and Veronica to mark the brand’s 15-year anniversary.

Adding to the list of celebrities winning Oscars in Jimmy Choo was Natalie Portman, she won the award for ‘Best Actress’ for the movie Black Swan wearing Jimmy Choo in 2011.

Jimmy Choo presented its first line of men’s footwear during Milan Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2011-2012. The first men’s store opened in London around this time.

Tamara Mellon stepped down as creative director in November 2011 leaving Sandra Choi and Simon Holloway to continue the Jimmy Choo legacy.

Jimmy Choo launched The Stylemaker in 2012, a microsite showing women wearing Jimmy Choo in different cities around the world. At the closing ceremony of 2012 London Olympics, Karen Elson hit the runway in Jimmy Choo heels.

The same year Jimmy Choo collaborated with contemporary artist Rob Pruitt on a capsule cruise collection for S/S 2013.

An Instagram campaign with #idoinchoo was launched this year that encouraged people to post pictures of their bridal Jimmy Choos. The Autumn/Winter 2013 campaign saw Nicole Kidman as the face of the brand.

Simon Holloway left Jimmy Choo in February 2013 to pursue other interests and Sandra Choi was named the sole creative director for the brand.

The Jimmy Choo Beverly Hills boutique on Rodeo Drive got a makeover and was re-opened in 2014 designed in collaboration with London-based David Collins Studio. The same year Kit Harington starred in the men’s Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign. Along with the launch of the first Jimmy Choo Men’s fragrance, Jimmy Choo Man.

And this year Jimmy Choo launched its ‘made-to-order’ shoes, specially for the brides-to-be. Clients were invited to choose from an array of materials and colours and could even personalise the soles.

Jimmy Choo PLC (Public Limited Company) was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014.

Jimmy Choo shoe was featured in the opening number of the Oscars 2015, performed by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick and Jack Black. The same year for the Berlin premier of the movie ‘Cinderella’, Jimmy Choo designed special stilettos, hand-encrusted with hundreds of crystals for the movie’s star Lily James. Kate Middleton stepped out wearing Jimmy Choo after the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015.

In celebration of Jimmy Choo’s 20th anniversary, Choi designed MEMENTO collection in the year 2016. The collection was a tribute to all the ‘entrance-making’ moments that has over the years come to define the Jimmy Choo style. The capsule collection comprised of 20 shoes and bags. The same year Sandra Choi was awarded the ‘Accessories Designer of the Year’ by Glamour magazine, Women of the Year Awards 2016.

The Jimmy Choo Resort collection of 2017 was a massive hit. For the Paris launch of the collection, Jimmy Choo laid on a glittering banquet. The products were placed on plates surrounded by fake turkeys, lavish faux fruits, seafood platter and crystal glasses.

The Jimmy Choo Cruise 2018 collection, takes inspiration from fireworks in a darkened sky, coloured beam of light cutting across the dance floor and the twinkling panorama of a night-time cityscape. The collection merges, sophistication and infectious energy in a mesmerizing manner. The collection uses a lot of glitter, gems, oversized crystals and pearls with leather and velvet.

The Jimmy Choo S/S 2018 women’s collection focuses on the beauty and form of natural elements. The collection showcases re-worked classics and new styles.

Jimmy Choo Bridal 2018- ‘Lancer’.

Bridal Line

The Jimmy Choo Bridal Line came into existence in around 2013. The Jimmy Choo Bridal creates shoes and accessories for not only brides but also the mother-of-the bride, as well as bridesmaids and the bridegroom.

And in the year 2014, Jimmy Choo launched its bespoke bridal shoes line, where the brand provides personalization service, which allows the bride to choose the materials, finishes and the colour of the shoes. The brides can even choose to monogram initials for their special day.

The Jimmy Choo bridal collection for 2018, features shoes embellished with Swarovski crystals, feathers and embroidered sequins with sleek and sophisticated shapes using satin, velvet, leather, suede and mesh.

Caroline Issa, London’s Fashion Director and Publisher of Tank Magazine seen here wearing the Mayor boot.

Jimmy Choo Style

The Jimmy Choo style is that of glamour, sophistication and daring spirit. Starting to be perceived as a producer of modern-day fairytales; for a very long time now Jimmy Choo has set a bar for itself, providing ‘Cinderella moments’ to all the women around the world.

Started as a bespoke shoemaking company to make each pair with same attention and care, Jimmy Choo is renowned for its quality and attention to detail. Over the years Jimmy Choo style has evolved to include modern and more adventurous designs along with the classics that the brand refurbishes every now and then.

Some of the brand’s all-time best selling women’s styles are, Lance, Romy, Miami, Anouk and Lancer.

The Autumn/Winter 2013 Campaign starring Nicole Kidman.

Jimmy Choo Advertisement Campaigns

Jimmy Choo’s philosophy is painted across all of their advertising campaigns. Even from the beginning it was clear to see that the brand’s identity was drowning in glamour and sophistication. The very first Jimmy Choo advertisement in 1998 ran in Vogue UK.

Over the years, the images grew stronger as the campaigns starred women in a bold and powerful way wearing the most exquisite Jimmy Choo heels and captured by photographers such as, Mario Testino, Inez, Vinoodh, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel and Terry Richardson.

Starring in the AW 2013/2014 advertisement campaign of Jimmy Choo, Nicole Kidman is portrayed as the heroine of a Hitchcock movie. Shown as a very attractive and sensual woman in a very noir atmosphere. The campaign was photographed by Mikael Jansson. 

Jimmy Choo’s 2017 campaign starring Cara Delevingne attracted some unwanted attention. The advertisement showed the model walking down a city street wearing a revealing dress and Jimmy Choo boots as men whistle and comment about the shoes. Some people on social media expressed some strong opinions about the ad; referring it as ‘sexist’ and questioning its appropriateness.

For the Spring 2018 advertisement campaign, Jimmy Choo enlisted photographer Craig McDean and models Anja Rubik and Clément Chabernaud. In the short Rubik and Chabernaud play a pair of flirtatious urbanites. The ad appears to be very modern and speaks today’s language.

Sandra Choi the sole creative director since 2013.
Kate Middleton wearing ‘Romy’ at the royal wedding 2018 of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Current Situation

Since 2013, Sandra Choi acts as the sole creative director of the brand.

The company changed ownership several times from Lion Capital to Tower Brook Capital in 2007, to Label Lux in 2011 and Jab Holding Company in 2014. As of November 1, 2017, Jimmy Choo PLC operates as a subsidiary of Michael Kors Holdings Limited.

The Jimmy Choo Pre-Fall 2018 collection was recently introduced reverberating cosmopolitan and urban vibes with brand’s signature glamorous spirit. The collection welcomes back the legacy logo: “I want Choo” bandled on sandal webbing and emblazoned on trainers, signaling a new sophistication as the global street wear slipstream continues. 

The Met Gala 2018 saw some of the best dressed celebrities showing-off their ‘Choos’. Jennifer Lopez was photographed wearing Max, so was Zendaya, Kendall Jenner wore an Off-White C/O Jimmy Choo ‘Jane’, Lily Aldridge wore Kate and Kate Moss wore Jimmy Choo sandals to the event.

The recent royal wedding 2018 of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle saw a lot of guests donning Jimmy Choo including the Duchess of Cambridge who wore the classic Romy. The Duchess’s sister Pippa Middleton wore a beige Lancer, actress and friend of Meghan’s Priyanka Chopra wore Victoria, actresses Carey Mulligan and Jacinda Barrett both donned Lucy in white and black respectively, while socialite Sofia Wellesley, wife of musician James Blunt wore a Lancer.