LONDON — Could Mr. Jimmy Choo be plotting a return to the limelight — and to the brand that bears his name?
On Monday, a spokesman for Daniel Stewart, the London-based investment bank and corporate advisory firm, confirmed it is working with Choo in connection with the strategic review under way at the Jimmy Choo brand, now majority owned by TowerBrook Capital Partners LP.
“TowerBrook is looking at its options for the business. Mr. Jimmy Choo has hired Daniel Stewart so that he can assess his own options — and any ways that he might be able to participate in the process,” a spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for Choo himself, who makes shoes privately in London, declined to comment. She said Choo was out of the country on a long-term trip connected to his ongoing work for the British Council.
TowerBrook has retained Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to explore long-term strategic options for the footwear and accessories business. The review will most likely result in the sale of Jimmy Choo, but it could also lead to an initial public offering.
TowerBrook principals have been working alongside Tamara Mellon, the brand’s chief creative officer and a substantial shareholder in the business, and chief executive officer Joshua Schulman.
Mellon founded the business in 1996 with Choo, the Malaysian-born Chinese shoemaker whose clients then included Princess Diana and Choo’s niece Sandra Choi. In 2001, Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. bought out Choo’s shares in a transaction that valued the Jimmy Choo brand at about $30 million. Since then, Choo has been making bespoke shoes privately and acting as an ambassador for organizations including the British Council and the University of the Arts London.
Both the Jimmy Choo business and TowerBrook declined to comment on the strategic review, and on any potential bidders for the company.
However, an industry source said it’s unlikely that Choo would progress very far were he to launch a bid. His break with Mellon in 2001 was acrimonious, and he has had minimal contact with the company since then.
“Would TowerBrook sell against Mellon and Schulman? Would Mellon ever accept a Jimmy Choo owned by Mr. Jimmy Choo?” the source said.
A second industry source said Choo is unlikely to have the personal resources to mount a bid for the brand, but that he could have Asian investors willing to back him. Over the past months, there have been unsourced reports in the French press that some Chinese investors have expressed an interest in the Jimmy Choo brand.
Revenues at Jimmy Choo have more than doubled since TowerBrook purchased the company in 2007 to about 150 million pounds, or $242 million at current exchange. The brand has 111 stores, up from 77 units when TowerBrook made its purchase.
Late last year, the company launched its first fragrance, and earlier this year it unveiled its first collection of men’s footwear. Mellon has said that clothing, jewelry and home are all potentially in the pipeline.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)