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Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo Ltd is a British high fashion house specializing in shoes, handbags, accessories, and fragrances. The company, J. Choo Limited, was founded in 1996 by couture shoe designer Jimmy Choo and Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon. The brand claims to have been a favorite of Diana, Princess of Wales. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by Michael Kors Holdings in November 2017.


Jimmy Choo traces its roots to shoemaker Jimmy Choo, based in the East End of London in the early 1990s, who catered to the global jet set, including Diana, Princess of Wales. The J. Choo company was eventually founded in 1996, when social figure Tamara Mellon joined Choo and his niece, Sandra Choi. Mr. Choo departed the company in 2001.

Choo sold his 50% share in the Jimmy Choo company to Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. in 2001. Lion Capital acquired a majority shareholding in November 2004, and the company was sold in 2007 to TowerBrook Capital Partners for £225 million. In 2011, it was sold to Labelux (which was integrated into its parent company, JAB Holding Company in July 2014) for £525.5 million.

In 2012, J. Choo hired ex-LVMH executive Pierre Denis as its CEO.

Jimmy Choo’s IPO was announced in September 2014. In October 2014, Jimmy Choo announced it would price its London Stock Exchange listing at 140 pence a share, giving the firm an equity value of £546 million.

The company put itself up for sale in April 2017. In July 2017, it was announced that Jimmy Choo would be bought by Michael Kors Holdings in a deal worth £896m. The transaction was completed on 1 November 2017.

Shoes under licence

Separate to the Jimmy Choo ready-to-wear brand, Mr. Jimmy Choo began Jimmy Choo Couture Limited in late 2006 to continue his work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo Couture shoe line, which is produced under license from J. Choo Ltd., available by appointment only at Connaught Street in London.


The first Jimmy Choo store was opened in 1996 on Motcomb Street in London. Two years later, the company expanded to the US, opening two stores in New York City and Beverly Hills. Over the following years, Jimmy Choo expanded its store portfolio by opening directly operated stores with local partners. Over the course of 2011 and 2012, Jimmy Choo took control of the majority of its Asian operations in China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Several boutiques can be found in secondary outlets such as Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as smaller boutique stores in shopping estates such as Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York.


The brand has won awards for its products, including the British Fashion Council Awards Designer Brand category in 2008, the Accessories Council Brand of the Year 2008, the Footwear News Brand of the Year Award, and the 2009 Nordstrom Partners In Excellence award.


J. Choo Ltd. has over 400 design patents to its name. The company has brought up several prominent cases for copyright and trademark infringement, as well as being the target of "knock-off" counterfeit imports in the UK, the US, and Australia. The company has sued Oasis, Warehouse, and Marks & Spencer for copying shoes and bags.

In December 2008, the company threatened to sue a New Zealand website, Kookychoo.com, for trademark infringement.[32] Kookychoo is a company which sells products unrelated to shoes; items such as toys, jewelry, and bean bags. Kookychoo's owner stated, "It's terrifying to be honest because I'm feeling really bullied. There was never any malice intended, we just wanted to start a small New Zealand business so it's quite frightening."

Cultural references

Jimmy Choo suede and leather platforms were worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the US TV show 'Sex And The City' Season 3, Episode 1, 1999. She lost a shoe running to catch the Staten Island Ferry and said "I lost my Choo!"

The Jimmy Choo 'Abel pump' was featured in the South Korean TV show 'My Love, From The Star', in 2014.

In the 2006 US film 'The Devil Wears Prada', Jimmy Choo shoes are worn by Andy Sachs, assistant to the editor on 'Runway' magazine.

Jimmy Choo footwear is worn by a villain, and cited as a clue to the nature of her character, in The Salt-Stained Book, a children's novel by Julia Jones.

The Jimmy Choo "Vanessa 85" red suede and nappa pointy toe pumps were featured in the American TV show "House of Cards" Season 6, Episode 5, 2018. Character Jane Davis enters a room in the white house while carrying the pair of pumps in her hand.

Early life

Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat Choo (born 15 November 1948) was born in Penang, Malaysia, into a family of shoemakers. His family name is Chow but was misspelled on his birth certificate as Choo. He studied at Shih Chung Primary School in Love Lane, Penang. Choo's father, a shoemaker who made all of his shoes by hand, taught him how to make shoes. Choo made his first pair of shoes when he was 11 years old, a pair of slippers.

Between 1982 and 1984, Choo studied at Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney (now part of the London College of Fashion) in London, England. He went to a design firm to work after graduation, wishing to remain in London instead of going back to Malaysia.


After college, Choo worked at two design companies for a total of nine years before opening his own business. Choo's parents moved to Britain to help him get started, and he eventually expanded the business by opening his own shop in 1986, renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed at London Fashion Week in 1988. After seeing his creations, Vogue featured the shoes in an eight page spread. Choo has said that his designs became significantly more popular after Vogue coverage. Patronage from Diana, Princess of Wales in the early 1990s further boosted his image.

In 1996, Choo co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd with British Vogue magazine accessories editor Tamara Mellon. In April 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. He has since concentrated his work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo couture line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd. The Jimmy Choo London line, also known as Jimmy Choo Ready-To-Wear or, simply, Jimmy Choo, is under the purview of Tamara Mellon. The ready-to-wear line has expanded to include accessories such as handbags.

Personal life

Choo lives in London and is currently involved in a project to set up a shoemaking institute in Malaysia. His company continues to produce expensive high-end shoes.

He is married to Rebecca Choo (née Choi) from Hong Kong. The couple has a son, Danny, and a daughter, Emily. A niece of the couple, Lucy Choi, followed in her uncle's footsteps by becoming a shoe designer.

He is mentioned in Fetty Wap's 2015 hit titled "Jimmy Choo", Placebo's track "Follow the cops back home", Vybz Kartel's song "Yabba Dabba Doo" and the Bollywood hit song "Abhi toh Party Shuru Hui Hai" from the movie "Khubsurat" (2014).

Choo and his designer godson Reggie Hung launched a spectacular exhibition named "Genavant- Step to Elegance" at the Cambridge International Art Gallery on 2 February 2018 filled with ‘elegance and grace’.

The sexy cut, fashionable design, and exceptional Italian craftsmanship struck a chord with a sophisticated clientele, and the first collection enjoyed immediate success. With the goal of creating a global luxury business, Jimmy Choo attracted outside investment and the company embarked on a significant expansion across product categories, channels, and geographies.

A pioneer in the art of celebrity dressing, Jimmy Choo was among the first to bring shoes and handbags to Hollywood where the red carpet proved to be the ideal runway for the brand. Today, Jimmy Choo can be seen on style icons such as celebrities, royalty, musicians, and heads of state.

The brand’s reputation as a celebrity favorite helped to fuel its rapid expansion. Its iconography was further defined by bold and dramatic advertising portraying glamorous but strong women in towering heels and luxurious handbags, captured by photographers such as Mario Testino, Inez and Vinoodh, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, and Terry Richardson.

Retail development has been integral to the company’s strategy. The first Jimmy Choo store was opened in 1996 on Motcomb Street in London, complementing a distribution in some of the most prestigious multi-brand stores in the world. Two years later, the company expanded to the US, opening two stores in New York City and Beverly Hills. International expansion continued with Jimmy Choo securing locations in premiere luxury shopping destinations of the world’s most prestigious cities including 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.

Today, Jimmy Choo encompasses a complete luxury accessories brand. Women's shoes remain the core of the product offer, alongside handbags, small leather goods, scarves, sunglasses, eyewear, belts, fragrance and men's shoes. CEO Pierre Denis and Creative Director Sandra Choi together share a vision to create one of the world's most treasured luxury brands. Jimmy Choo has a global store network encompassing more than 150 stores and is present in the most prestigious department and specialty stores worldwide. Jimmy Choo is part of the Michael Kors Holdings Limited luxury fashion