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Jimmy Choo
Born 1961
Penang, Malaysia
Occupation Founder of Jimmy Choo Ltd.

Dato' Jimmy Choo OBE, born Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat, (Chinese: 周仰杰) [1] is a Malaysian fashion designer based in London, United Kingdom. He is best known for founding Jimmy Choo Ltd that became known for its hand-made women's shoes.

Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia into a family of shoemakers. He is of Chinese Hakka [2] descent. He made his first shoe when he was 11 years old. He is perhaps the most notable of students of Cordwainers Technical College in London Borough of Hackney, London from which he graduated in 1983. The college is now part of the London College of Fashion. Choo has divulged that he worked part-time at restaurants and as a cleaner at a shoe factory to help fund his college education.

Jimmy Choo's beginnings can be traced back to his workshop in London Borough of Hackney, North London, which he opened in 1986 by renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed and he came to the verge of international notability when his creations were featured in a record eight pages in a 1988 issue of Vogue magazine. Patronage from Diana, Princess of Wales from 1990 onwards further boosted his image.

In 1996, he co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd with British Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon.

In April 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. He has since been concentrating 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 Tamara Mellon. The ready-to-wear line has expanded to include accessories such as handbags.

Choo lives in London. He is currently involved in a project to set up a shoemaking institute in Malaysia, where his iconic status is often evoked to inspire budding shoemakers and fashion designers. His company Jimmy Choo Ltd. produces some of the expensive high-end shoes.

Awards

  • 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 by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to the shoe and fashion industry in the United Kingdom
  • 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' [3 ]
  • Awarded a fellowship by the University of the Arts London, conferring the use of the title Professor

References

External links

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