Jimmy Choo is a company that makes glamorous and high-end shoes and accessories. Named after its co-founder, it was launched in 1996 when Vogue UK accessories editor Tamara Yeardye Mellon teamed up with the shoemaker Jimmy Choo.
Tamara Yeardye Mellon, accessories editor at Vogue UK, sensed a real demand for stylish but wearable shoes and approached Jimmy Choo a couture shoemaker based in the East End of London, recognized for his exquisite craftsmanship. Mellon took a 50% partnership with Mr Jimmy Choo to start the accessories company. A business plan was formed to open Jimmy Choo stand alone boutiques and to develop a wholesale business throughout the fashion capitals of the world. Mellon’s first move was to source factories in Italy to produce the shoes on a larger and more economical scale.
Since the launch of the company it has expanded across the globe and garnered a slew of celebrity clientèle. Diana, Princess of Wales was a huge fan of Choo’s designs, which helped promote the brand. In the TV series Sex in the City, the leading character Carrie Bradshaw was obsessed with Jimmy Choo shoes, among others.
The Designer, Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo is a Hakka Chinese shoe designer based in London and is best known for his exquisitely designed and crafted shoes and handbags. Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia, into a family of shoemakers. He created his first shoe at the age of 11. Such was this desire to make shoes he travelled to London to enrol as a student at Cordwainer’s College.
Jimmy Choo’s name is actually a misspelling of Jimmy Chow. When he was born the registrar spelled his name incorrectly on his birth certificate, resulting in the now well-known name of Jimmy Choo.
In June 2003, Jimmy Choo was awarded an OBE by the Queen of England for his services in making London the design centre of the world for the fashion industry.