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Choo’s Next Steps

Jimmy Choo Couture could be in flux.

Jimmy Choo Couture, the bespoke footwear business that operates as a separate company from the Jimmy Choo luxury goods brand founded by Tamara Mellon, could be in flux. A spokeswoman said Thursday that Choo plans to increasingly focus on his educational projects rather than his couture footwear business.

However, she declined to say whether the business would close. Choo is a professor at the London College of Fashion and advises on the footwear and accessories courses there. The designer plans to continue to work with his existing clients, but the spokeswoman said the company will not actively seek out more clients. It’s thought the business has been affected by a fall in manufacturing in the U.K., which means it’s now more difficult to source the materials for one-off shoe designs.

Choo sold his share of the Jimmy Choo brand in 2001 to Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd., the owners of Jimmy Choo Ltd. at the time, and established Jimmy Choo Couture as a separate firm focusing on special orders. Jimmy Choo Ltd. was most recently acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners in 2007, in a deal that valued the company at 185 million pounds, or $367 million.

This story first appeared in the July 25, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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