The company Jimmy Choo, maker of glamorous accessories favoured by international stars and elegant women worldwide, was launched in 1996.
As accessories editor at Vogue UK, Tamara Yeardye Mellon sensed a real demand for stylish but wearable shoes and approached Mr Jimmy Choo, a couture shoemaker based in the East End of London, recognized for his excellent craftsmanship. Mellon partnered with Mr Jimmy Choo to start the ready to wear company and sourced factories in Italy to produce the shoes on a larger scale. Consequently, plans were made to open the first Jimmy Choo stand alone boutique and to develop the wholesale business throughout the fashion capitals of the world.
In April 2001, the expansion of Jimmy Choo took a significant step forward with the announcement of a new partnership with Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. Acquiring Mr Choo’s share of the ready to wear business, Equinox’s Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Bensoussan became CEO of Jimmy Choo. President of J Choo Ltd, President Tamara Mellon said “In Equinox, I have found ideal partners to share my vision for the development of J Choo Ltd. I am very excited about the Company’s prospects and this transaction will enable us to achieve our development goals even more rapidly”.
Within 3 years, the company opened twenty six new stores (in addition to the existing four) and introduced both handbag and small leather goods collections. This was followed on 19th November 2004 with Hicks Muse (Europe) announcing the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Jimmy Choo, in a transaction valuing the company at 101 million. With the ethos in both design and outlook remaining the same, the Company will now look to an expansion programme that will include opening up to 50 stores by 2008.