Jimmy Choo

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This article is about the shoe designer. For the company bearing his name, see Jimmy Choo Ltd.
Jimmy Choo
Kavita Sidhu, Dato' Jimmy Choo, Heah Sieu Lay, Andrea Fonseka, Amber Chia.jpg
Jimmy Choo (second from left) with (from left) Kavita Sidhu, Heah Sieu Lay, Andrea Fonseka and Amber Chia.
Born Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat
(1948-11-15) 15 November 1948 (age 65)[1]
George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Occupation Shoe designer

Dato' Jimmy Choo, OBE Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat (Chinese: 周仰杰; pinyin: Zhōu Yǎngjié),[2] (born 15 November 1948) is a Malaysian fashion designer based in the 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 studied at Shih Chung Primary School in Love Lane, Penang. His father taught him how to make shoes, and he made his first shoe when he was 11 years old.[3]

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.

He has a son, Danny, who runs Mirai Inc. in Tokyo, Japan, and a daughter who studied interior design in San Francisco.[4]

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'[5]
  • 2009: Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by University of the Arts London[6]
  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newsmakers (2006) Gale Biography In Context, Detroit
  2. ^ Back from London to receive award AllMalaysia.info, 27 August 2004
  3. ^ Wong Chun Wai (14 December 2013). "The Jimmy Choo connection". The Star. 
  4. ^ www.dannychoo.com
  5. ^ Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday honours list TheStar.com.my, 10 July 2004
  6. ^ UAL Honorary Fellows and Doctorates

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]