Jimmy Choo was unquestionably one of the founders of today’s high-octane red-carpet glamour. Twenty years ago the Malaysian shoe designer started with made-to-measure satin stilettos dyed to match occasion-bound dresses – Diana, Princess of Wales was an early client. In 1999, his niece, Sandra Choi, now the brand’s creative director, first took a Beverly Hills suite to supply Hollywood’s finest with shoes to match their Oscars gowns, not just brightly coloured and elegantly high but spangled with crystals. Since then, the brand has gone global and had several ownership changes, but the red carpet (over 600 pairs supplied for it so far) – and big personal occasions in lives more ordinary – remains at its heart, its name a byword for evening glamour.
Choi has given the brand a more rounded image, with flats, boots and men’s styles alongside the high heels, but to mark the anniversary, she has gone back to that first love, to shoes and clutch bags that are made for celebrating, with a capsule collection of 20 styles entitled Memento and arriving in store on April 16. “We are honouring our high-glamour legacy,” says Choi, “reimagined for today to both thrill and delight.” Finding that star clients often choose graphic shoes with simple finishes that do not conflict with an ornate dress, she has redesigned some favourite models such as Lance (a graceful, curvy 115mm sandal that has had more red-carpet requests than any other style) and Romy (an elegant stiletto) so the shoes take centre stage – the former sparkling with tiny crystals (£1,295, first picture), the latter reworked in glitter, shaded from silver to midnight blue (£450, second picture).
There are matching clutches encrusted with beading and crystals (£2,995, third picture). Examples of the range will be in most stores for a limited time and start at £450, but two styles are made to order from flagship stores and online – both high T-bar styles (£2,750), one pointed and one open-toed, and both hand embroidered with large smoky crystals on a backdrop of tiny crystals. Even more extravagant is a handmade-to-order shoe trunk (£45,000,fourth picture) in galuchat-embossed leather with 20 suede-lined, brass-trimmed drawers – one for each of the styles. The lucky owner who fills this may never have to go shopping for evening shoes again.