Jimmy Choo(1948-), Shoe designer
Sitter in 2 portraits
Born in Penang, Malaysia, into a family of shoemakers, Choo created his first shoe at the age of twelve. His father taught him that every shoe is a unique work of art. This belief has led him to create some of the most coveted footwear in the world. In his early twenties Choo moved to London, to study at Cordwainers' Technical College (now the London College of Fashion), later working from a studio in Hackney. His reputation grew, and by the mid-nineties his couture designs were worn by royalty and celebrities. In 1996 he expanded the business into ready-to-wear collections, designed by his niece Sandra Choi, with the flagship Jimmy Choo store opening in London in the same year. Although he sold his stake in the company in 2001, Choo continues to make couture shoes. He was awarded an OBE in 2003 and in his native Malaysia he holds the title of Honorary Dato, equivalent to a British knighthood.