From a mother that emptied her savings for him to the first pair of shoes sold on the streets of London. Then the meeting with Lady D and the sale of the company to spend time with the family. Jimmy Choo tells his story in two interviews ad explains why he decided to create the JCA London Academy of Fashion.
Jimmy Choo tells his story
Born in 1948 in Malesia, he comes from a Chinese family. Jimmy Choo learnt its trade from his father, a shoemaker located in Penang. Then Jimmy Choo moves to London in 1982 to study, and 4 years after opens its own laboratory. As told to the BBC Radio, and reported by Leatherbiz, the stylist tried to sell his shoes for about 50 pounds a pair. The start wasn’t encouraging, to the point that he lowered the price to just 5 pounds on a street booth on the South Bank. That’s where he is note by Tamara Mellon (who later became his partner), which dedicates a piece on Vogue to the young stylist, in 1996 he opens the company with its same name thanks to his mother’s savings. And, says Jimmy Choo, his popularity came also thanks to Lady D, with which he created a sincere relationship and friendship.
Never regretted the sale
In 2001, just 5 years after the brand was created, Jimmy Choo decided to sell. “I don’t regret it. This decision has allowed me to spend quality time with my family. Before then I was getting home at 3:00 AM”, said the Malesian stylist, who is now designing the couture collections for his brand. Mr. Choo is positive the economy will recover from Covid-19: “I think that many countries will have reopened their doors by June or July”. He also recommends doing what his friends do, dressing up at night even if they are to remain home.
Now the designer occupies its time with schooling. Among his main objectives is passing on his knowledge to others. How to become a famous stylist? “First, young upcomers must love what they do – he answers to Rte -. Second, they must have a creative mind and a story. Additionally, they need skills. If you don’t have qualified knowledge, you can’t create anything”.