“Face it, Andy. You sold your soul the day you put on those Jimmy Choos.” That line from the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” is but one example of how an unassuming shoemaker has found fame and fortune in the couture and mainstream world.
Jimmy Choo is a native of Malaysia and was born in 1961 into a family of shoemakers. He created his first pair of shoes at age 11. Now he is known worldwide for his designer line of elegant women’s shoes and handbags.
Choo graduated from Cordwainers’ Technical College in London and had a small workshop in that city. He hit the international fashion scene when Vogue magazine featured his designs in an eight-page spread in 1988. His work was immediately popular and was made more so by patronage from Diana, Princess of Wales.
Jimmy Choo shoes have since been mentioned or featured in movies and television shows such as “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos,” increasing the brand’s cachet. Choo was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2002 for his contributions to his adopted country of England.
Jimmy Choo shoes are noted for their very high heels and pointed toes. However, he does feature some flats and lower-heeled shoes for those of us who don’t feel comfortable on stilts. Choo co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd. with Tamara Mellon, UK Vogue accessories editor, but sold his share in the company in 2001. He now focuses on his couture designs and although he does have a London showroom, it is open by appointment only.
Jimmy Choo boutiques have opened around the world, so his designs are more accessible to those who want a designer shoe, and can afford his prices. Choo also has a Web site where shoppers can view his ready-to-wear designs, and the couture designs, as well. Choo’s ready-to-wear designs generally begin in the neighborhood of $300 US Dollars (USD) and they just go up from there. The value of a soul might not cover the price.