Jimmy Choo, known for sharp stilettos and edgy clutches, is showing its softer side.

This story first appeared in the June 1, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The luxury accessories firm is launching 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 center in South Africa.

Twenty-five percent of the sales from Project PEP by Jimmy Choo will go to the pioneering the Simelela Rape Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Its mission it is to administer victims of abuse with the vital HIV preventative medication PEP, or Post Exposure Prophylaxis, as well as provide counseling and support.

The cause is close to Jimmy Choo founder and president Tamara Mellon, who worked with John in 2005 on Jimmy Choo’s charity auction project “4 Inches,” which helped secure the future of the Simelela center.

“As a brand, we have always wanted to do charity work,” said Mellon, who moved to New York from London last month. “It’s important to do charity work, especially when you’re a company of a certain size.”

The Project PEP collection features a new signature laminated canvas print that incorporates iconic Jimmy Choo hallmarks such as snakeskin, leather with a profusion of grommets, the scribbled phone number for the brand’s Bond Street store in London, and on closer look, a picture of Mellon from an Italian Vogue shoot.

“It’s a whole collage of the DNA of Jimmy Choo,” said Mellon.

The print emblazons several totes, sandals, ballet flats, clutches and flip-flops. Prices start at $95 for the flip-flops up to $995 for a large handbag.

The line will also be the sole collection in the brand’s advertising campaign photographed by Terry Richardson featuring Angela Lindvall, which bows in November issues. The collection will hit Jimmy Choo boutiques, as well as department stores, in November.

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