Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh MY Choos!

For those who followed the news, with the capital F in mind (Fashion that is), may have spotted the intention of our Datuk Jimmy Choo to buy back his shoe brand of the same name. High profilers are involved in this deal with Blair’s wife (Britain’s former premiere) as the counsel and Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley as the investment banker in these take-over process. The price tag for the brand is about RM2.4bil (that’s a room full of Jimmy Choos, which price tag may fetch between RM2k to RM15k for a single pair). LVMH, who owns the LV brand and the Veuve Clicquot champagne, as well as the recently bought Bvlgari, is a stiff competion to the bid.

You can read more about this here.

For those who has little knowledge of the man himself, this Penangite, graduated from a London based fashion institution and was shot to fame, first, thanks to the late Lady Diana who wore his custom made shoes and had him as a dear friend (with an invitation to various Palace functions) during her long lived life.

Ironically the princess wore his design for nearly 7 years before the press started buzzing on the shoemaker himself, when more often than not, Lady Di’s evening shoes caught the world media’s attention.

Then came HBO’s tv series, the Sex and the City who captivated the audience with its plot and sell more shoes, clothes and accessories than Parkson or Isetan can! The tv show also helps catapulted a few brand name including the Choos.

In 1996, Tamara Mellon, the accessories editor of British Vogue, approached the bespoke shoe designer and helped launched the brand, a ready-to-wear shoe company bearing Datuk’s name and spotting his designs.

Though, the brand achieved huge success, a strain in the relationship of these two cofounders drew bigger resulting in Datuk selling his 50% stake at only RM50 million in 2001.

The brand continues to flourish under Tamara’s hand, partnering with, Sandra Choi, its creative director and a niece of Datuk’s wife and protégé.

The brand later developed into introducing its own bags and accessories line which were very successful and is mostly sought after.

The split however did not put an end to Datuk’s career where he continued running a discreet but ultra-expensive bespoke handmade shoe shop, under his own label Jimmy Choo Couture. Every custom made pair are crafted meticulously to perfection. The store is located on Connaught Street, West London.

Datuk also contributed in the academic world by mentoring young designer who one day hoped to have their names at the same forefront and enjoyed the same success he had basked in.

We rejoiced at Datuk’s plight to gain back the brand, however we hope it would not be a national agenda with the government involved as I think if we do have the fund (minus my tax refund waiting to be delivered of course) let’s invest in young designers as Datuk, Zang Toi, Bernard Chandran and others has already paved a path for other aspiring designer from this part of the continent. We see the likes of Thakoon and Prabal Gurung, repsentatives from Asia, becoming huge in the mainstream fashion world. Maybe one day, a Malaysian designer, will be the go to brand to dress up in a major event.


ulat said...

I dunno him! tp smlm watch news on tv3..dia mintak support from Mysian people...n hope that Y.Bhg Perdana Menteri Dato'..... pastu dia aaaa...errr...dia x mentioned pun Dato' Seri Najib...then pembaca berita repeat n sebut kan name Dato' Seri...hurmmm...tak tau same ade dia gabra..ataupun...dia x tau nak sebut nama PM mcm mne...or mmg itu sentence dia...

NKLi GKaR said...

sjk bila awk tgk news?