Jimmy Choo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jimmy Choo
Kavita Sidhu, Dato' Jimmy Choo, Heah Sieu Lay, Andrea Fonseka, Amber Chia.jpg
Kavita Sidhu, Jimmy Choo, a local businessman, Andrea Fonseka and Amber Chia.
Born (1952-11-15) 15 November 1952 (age 61)[1]
George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Occupation Shoe designer

Dato' Jimmy Choo, OBE, born Choo Yeang Keat (Chinese: 周仰杰; pinyin: Zhōu Yǎngjié),[2] is a Malaysian fashion designer based in United Kingdom. He is best known for co-founding Jimmy Choo Ltd that became known for its handmade women's shoes.

Early life[edit]

Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia, into a family of shoemakers. His family name is Chow but was misspelled on his birth certificate as Choo. He has a son, Danny, who runs Mirai Inc. in Tokyo, Japan, and a daughter who studied interior design in San Francisco.[3] He made his first shoe when he was 11 years old.[citation needed]

Education & Career[edit]

Choo graduated from Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney (now part of the London College of Fashion) in 1983. Choo worked part-time at restaurants and as a cleaner at a shoe factory to help fund his college education. After graduation Choo began work at a shop in Hackney which he opened in 1986 by renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed and his creations became featured in eight pages in a 1988 issue of Vogue. Patronage from Diana, Princess of Wales from 1990 further boosted his image.

In 1996 he co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd with British Vogue magazine accessories editor Tamara Mellon. In April 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. He has since concentrated his work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo Couture line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd. The Jimmy Choo London line, also known as Jimmy Choo Ready-To-Wear or, simply, Jimmy Choo, is under the purview of Mellon[who?]. The ready-to-wear line has expanded to include accessories such as handbags.

Personal life[edit]

Choo lives in London and is currently involved in a project to set up a shoemaking institute in Malaysia. His company continues to produce expensive high-end shoes.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • 2000: Bestowed a state award carrying the title of Dato' by the Sultan of Pahang state in Malaysia for his achievements
  • 2002: Conferred an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to the shoe and fashion industry in the UK
  • 2004: Awarded the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of his home state of Penang, which also carries the title Dato'[4]
  • 2009: Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by University of the Arts London [5]
  • 2011: Winner of "The World’s Outstanding Malaysian Designer 2011" Design for Asia Award for the "Daniel" part
  • 2012: Received You Bring Charm to the World – World’s Most Influential Malaysian Award
  • Awarded an honorary doctorate in art in July 2004 by De Montfort University, Leicester, U.K., for his contribution to their unique Single Honours Footwear Design degree


  1. ^ Newsmakers (2006) Gale Biography In Context, Detroit
  2. ^ Back from London to receive award AllMalaysia.info, 27 August 2004
  3. ^ www.dannychoo.com
  4. ^ Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday honours list TheStar.com.my, 10 July 2004
  5. ^ UAL Honorary Fellows and Doctorates

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]