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Jimmy Choo Through the Years

A look back at the label's 15-year history.

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Special Issue
WWD Milestones issue 12/17/2010

1996

This story first appeared in the December 17, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

• Tamara Mellon teams up with custom shoe designer Jimmy Choo and establishes the Jimmy Choo company in London.

• The duo opens the first Jimmy Choo boutique on London’s Motcomb Street.

1999

• Jimmy Choo has its first big red-carpet moment when Cate Blanchett wears a pair to the Academy Awards the year she is nominated for “Elizabeth.”

• The brand gets a major television plug when Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on “Sex and the City” says, “I lost my Choo.”

2001

• Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. acquires Jimmy Choo, which at the time has four stores in the U.S. and the U.K. The transaction values the company around $30 million.

• Jimmy Choo exits from the company that bears his name.

• Robert Bensoussan joins the company as chief executive officer.

2002

• Jimmy Choo kicks off its retail rollout at Harvey Nichols, with a new store and in-store shop concept designed by Milan architect Tiziano Vudafieri. It plans to open 15 freestanding stores over two years

2003

• The company opens flagships on Madison Avenue in New York and New Bond Street in London.

• Jimmy Choo launches a collection of handbags.

2004

• Equinox enlists NM Rothschild to explore strategic options for the luxury footwear brand that could include a possible sale, an initial public offering or a refinancing.

• Lion Capital, then known as Hicks Muse, acquires Jimmy Choo, valuing the company at 101 million pounds, or $187 million at the exchange rate of that time.

2005

• Jimmy Choo opens its first boutique in Paris, on Avenue Montaigne. 2006

• Jimmy Choo marks its first decade in business.

• The London brand inks a distribution agreement with Murjani Group for India; it also forms Jimmy Choo Tokyo K.K., which it owns jointly with Bluebell Japan Ltd., to build the Japanese business.

• Jimmy Choo and Safilo Group sign a worldwide licensing agreement for Jimmy Choo sunglasses and prescription frames.

2007

• TowerBrook Capital Partners LLP snaps up Jimmy Choo in a deal that values the company at 185 million pounds, or $364.5 million at the exchange rate of the time.

• Joshua Schulman joins the firm as ceo.

• Mellon becomes an investor in Halston, joining Harvey Weinstein on the board of the storied label.

• Jimmy Choo opens a 3,000-square-foot flagship on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, adding to the 22 U.S. shops at the time.

2008

• Jimmy Choo opens its biggest store in Japan, in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood.

• Revlon Inc. adds Mellon to its board.

• The brand receives the British Fashion Council’s Brand of the Year Award, the ACE Accessory Council Excellence Awards Designer Brand of the Year and Footwear News’ Brand of the Year Award.

2009

• Jimmy Choo is honored with the Nordstrom Partner in Excellence Award.

• The accessories firm launches Project PEP, a limited edition collection of handbags, shoes and small leather goods, in partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to support the Simelela Centre in South Africa.

• The brand collaborates with Hunter for boots.

• The house collaborates with H&M on a collection, with hundreds of people lining up outside stores to get their hands on Jimmy Choo designs at budget prices.

2010

• Jimmy Choo launches Choo 24: 7 Perfect Shoe Closet at retail, putting a fresh spin on some old favorites, including platforms, pointy-toe pumps and strappy evening stilettos at prices from $395 for a basic flat to $1,200 for the Glenys gladiator stiletto.

• The brand launches a collaboration with Ugg Australia, featuring sheepskin boots with studs, grommets and fringe details.

• Jimmy Choo opens its largest flagship in Europe, covering 2,505 square feet on two levels at the intersection of Milan’s Via Sant’Andrea and Via Montenapoleone.

• Mellon is named an Officer of the British Empire as part of the Queen’s birthday honors list.

• British Prime Minister David Cameron appoints Mellon Business Ambassador for Britain.

Looking to 2011

• The Jimmy Choo fragrance will launch at Jimmy Choo stores in January, followed by worldwide distribution in February.

• The company plans to add men’s shoes to its offerings in fall.

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