Jimmi Choo: Designer of Luxury Fashion

Jimmy Choo, a Malaysian-born Chinese couture shoe designer, and Tamara Mellon, a British Vogue accessories editor, established the business, J. Choo Limited, in 1996. Diana, Princess of Wales, is said to have loved the brand. Before being purchased by Michael Kors Holdings, now Capri Holdings, in November 2017, the business was traded on the London Stock Exchange.

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Foundation (Mid 1980s to 1996)

Jimmy Choo, a shoemaker, founded the company in the East End of London in the late 1980s and operated out of the former Metropolitan Free Hospital. At a neighborhood market stall, he was selling his shoes. Because of his ability to replicate Manolo Blahnik's high-heeled shoes in many colors, he was well-known among editors of periodicals for the fashion business. When Choo's wife's niece, Sandra Choi, joined him in 1989, she rapidly took over responsibility for creating the shoes. In the early 1990s, Choo served Diana, Princess of Wales, and other international jet setters.

Celebrities in Need (1996–2001)

A celebrity-driven go-to-market model was introduced on July 5, 1998, when Choo was featured in the fifth episode of HBO's Sex and the City. It confirmed the necessity to build a US store quickly, which was accomplished in November 1998. After making a splash at the Academy Awards in March 1999, Tamara Mellon, Sandra Choi, and Marilyn Heston's Get Good Ink PR firm proceeded to capitalize on the celebrity angle by dyeing the Jimmy Choo shoes they were lending to actresses for the Oscars night in hues that complemented their gowns.

The Equinox/Phoenix (2001-2004)

Robert Bensoussan called Tamara Mellon in April 2001 to "persuade her that he was the one who could take the business to the next level." Robert Bensoussan previously served as the director of sales for Sonia Rykiel (1986–89), the director of international sales for Escada (1990–92), the CEO of Christian Lacroix (1993–97), and Gianfranco Ferré (1999–2000). In order to build up "a new investment company, Equity Luxury Holdings, which would invest in other UK businesses that, like Jimmy Choo, could be grown," Bensoussan contacted David Burns, the head of Phoenix Equity Partners' consumer, leisure, and retail practice.

Tiger Capital (2004-2007)

In November 2004, Lion Capital purchased the largest stake.

A valuation of £101 million was given to the business, which is three times the anticipated sales and thirteen times the projected operating profit for 2004. They would receive £95.7 million as proprietors of Jimmy Choo Limited. 78% of the company, represented by Equinox and the Yeardyes' holdings, was to be purchased by Lion Capital. The Yeardyes' 49% stake was worth £42.8 million, and Equinox's 51% was worth £48.8 million. Ann Yeardye was to receive £21.4 million in cash, while Tamara Mellon would receive £12 million in cash, £8.2 million in stapled bonds with an underlying value of £18.2 million, and 3% in sweet equity (her final holding after the transaction was 12%).

TowerBrook (2007-2011)

On February 7, 2007, Gala Capital and TowerBrook Capital Partners purchased the business. An estimated £185 million was spent on Jimmy Choo Limited, of which £170 million was paid upfront and £15 million was paid based on performance in 2008. More than 10 times the operational profit from 2007, the £185 million valuation was equivalent to 2.2 times the sales. Lion Capital doubled its initial investment in just two years by selling its shares to Tower Brook. After the deal, TowerBrook held 65% to 70% of the company, Tamara Mellon held a stake in the low teens, Gala Capital held the third-largest position with 10%, and Robert Bensoussan held the fourth-largest stake.

Labelux (2011-2014)

It was purchased by Labelux for £525.5 million in 2011, and in July 2014, Labelux was incorporated into JAB Holding Business, the parent company. CEO Pierre Denis, a former executive of LVMH, joined the company in 2012. Hannah Colman, a seasoned pro who has been with the company since its beginning, assumed the role of CEO in late 2020.

Private Company (2014-17)

In 2014, we saw the announcement of the company's initial public offering. The company declared in October 2014 that it would list on the London Stock Exchange at a price of 140 pence per share, giving the company an equity value of £546 million.

Mr. Michael Kors (since 2017)

In April 2017, the business decided to sell itself. Michael Kors Holdings made the decision to acquire the business in a deal of £896 million, which was disclosed in July 2017. On November 1, 2017, the deal was finished.

Licensed footwear

Jimmy Choo Couture Limited, a separate entity from the Jimmy Choo ready-to-wear line, was founded by the designer in late 2006 to carry on his work on the high-end Jimmy Choo Couture shoe collection, which is only available by appointment at Connaught Street in London and is made in accordance with a license from J. Choo Ltd.

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In the autumn of 1996, the first Jimmy Choo shop on Motcomb Street in London was inaugurated. Tamara's youngest brother, Daniel, is 18 years old and is Daniel's girlfriend. Hannah was the store's first salesperson. The London store was relocated to 169 Draycott Avenue in October 2001.

A Jimmy Choo store first debuted on Bond Street in December 2003, followed by another on Sloane Street.


The company has received honors for its goods, including the British Fashion Council Awards Designer Brand category in 2008; the Accessories Council Brand of the Year Award in 2008; the Footwear News Brand of the Year Award; and the 2009 Nordstrom Partners in Excellence award.


More than 600 design patents have been awarded to J. Choo Ltd. In addition to being the target of "knock-off" counterfeit imports in the UK, the US, and Australia, the corporation has brought up a number of well-known cases for copyright and trademark infringement. For imitating shoes and bags, the company has filed lawsuits against Oasis, Warehouse, and Marks & Spencer.


Choo was born into a shoemaker's family in Penang, Malaysia. His birth certificate misread his family name, which is Chow, as Choo. In Love Lane, Penang, he attended Penang Street Primary School. Choo learned the trade from his shoemaker father, who created each pair of shoes by hand. My parents were shoemakers, and I have continued in their footsteps. He encouraged me, "commented Jimmy Choo. At the age of 11, he created his first pair of shoes, a pair of slippers.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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