Thursday, January 5, 2012

Profiles in Fashion: Jimmy Choo

Sapet, Kerrily. Profiles in Fashion: Jimmy Choo. Greensboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds, 2011.

My Thoughts
It was interesting to read how a poor shoemaker from Malaysia could become such a coveted status symbol. I didn't realize that Jimmy Choo actually hand made each pair. As I read this, I considered ordering a pair for myself, until I learned that most of these shoes start at $500 and go up in price. Perhaps the hand-made aspect makes them worth that money, but I can think of SO many other things that $500 could do for me and my family.

An interesting fact that I didn't know was the history of the shoe. At first, they were purely utilitarian. Then shoes evolved into status symbols. People actually had such high heels that they required two people next to them to help them walk. RIDICULOUS! Jimmy Choo's philosophy is that shoes can look gorgeous and feel good, too. It shouldn't be a chore to walk around in them. He claims that four inch heels are the optimum height for balance and posture and this height has become his signature style.

Like most people in fashion, the demand for the product begins to consume the maker's time. Jimmy Choo wanted his brand to expand, so he partnered with Tamara Yeardye to help. She worked the business end of the partnership and he designed and made the shoes. This partnership did not have the same goals, so in 2001, Jimmy sold "his portion of the Jimmy Choo Ltd. to concentrate on his couture business" (Sapet 101).

As I will probably never own a real pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, I enjoyed reading about how they were made, who buys them (Princess Diana was one of the first high profile clients) and how humble Choo seems to be in spite of his recognitions.

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