Jimmy Choo celebrates 20 years
Creative Director Sandra Choi looks back at the brand's glamorous past
For the past two decades, Jimmy Choo has been synonymous with all things glam. From the brand’s debut in 1996 to more recent red-carpet appearances, the shoes have been favoured by movie stars, royalty and everyone in between. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Sandra Choi, the brand’s creative director, designs a truly special collection, ‘Memento’, to pay homage to her uncle’s legacy. She talks to ELLE about the capsule line, Princess Diana and her favourite Choo moments.
ELLE: What have been Jimmy Choo’s greatest milestones, according to you?
Sandra Choi: Meeting Michelle Obama at a White House reception for designers and being present at the V & A’s Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition. Also, the Sex and The City episode when Carrie Bradshaw cried “I lost my Choo” – that was really pivotal in making Jimmy Choo a house-hold name.
ELLE: Any iconic red-carpet moments that come to mind?
SC: It has to be Princess Diana — when she wore us in 1996 to a gala in Chicago. It was the ultimate fairy-tale moment. Other memories that stand out are Cate Blanchett at the Oscars in 1999, as she was the first celebrity we dressed for the red carpet and you never forget your first. Natalie Portman when she won her Oscar for Black Swan. Uma Thurman in flats at Cannes, proving there are no style rules when it comes to shoes — it is all about confidence and poise.
ELLE: What special elements have you added to the ‘Memento’ line?
SC: The 20 shoes and bags comprising the capsule collection honour our legacy of high glamour. Reimagined and designed for today, they’re intended to thrill and delight in equal measure. The shoes have been embellished with Swarovski crystals and laser-cut details. The evening bags are opulent, featuring haute couture refinement, like the ‘Cloud’ clutch with a sculpted flower corsage in vermillion red.
ELLE: What made you think of designing a shoe trunk?
SC: The trunk adds a sense of exceptional luxury. I wanted it to be like a treasure trove — filled with goodies and housing all the accessories a woman could ever need. It has been designed with compartments for shoes, jewellery, sunglasses and special evening bags. Details such as the pale galuchat-embossed leather and distinctive hardware reflect elements from our collections.
ELLE: Which are your favourites from the ‘Memento’ collection?
SC: ‘Storm’, a T-bar stiletto with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and stones in a smoky colour palette. I also love the modern simplicity of ‘Tizzy’, a minimal strappy sandal.
ELLE: What is the vision for Jimmy Choo, for the next 20 years?
SC: Jimmy Choo is like a jewel with many facets; on one side we are committed to the continued innovation of seasonal fashion collections and on the other, we are honouring a sense of timeless glamour associated with the red carpet; both combined with the highest quality of design and production. At 20 years, we have achieved our set characteristics for the brand. My vision is to maintain the integrity of those characteristics while pushing the boundaries and instilling a firmer creative code.
Here’s an exclusive sneak peak at the trunk designed by Choi.
You may also want to read: Bombay Electric moves to London