What is it about women and shoes? Especially glamour puss shoes with sky-high heels, sexy straps and bling? And, with the continued rise and rise of luxury brands across the globe, price and exclusivity seem only to add to the allure.
Yes, I would like to own a pair of Jimmy Choos. I’ve actually slipped on some Blahniks and ogled many a pair of Louboutins, but the rise of the Choo has created a happy trio of clodhopper lust that arguably comprise the world’s most coveted shoes.
So what is it about the glam stiletto, the illustrious shoe boot, the wedge, the kitten heel? And how does the name of a small time Malaysian cobbler become a world great in just twelve years of wheeling and dealing that took this humble namesake to a £185 fortune?
Lauren Goldstein Crowe and Sagra Maceira de Rosen will tell you how… in The Towering World of Jimmy Choo.
Goldstein Crowe has been a fashion writer for over a decade and has a vast catalogue of experience behind her including devising Time’s first ever fashion supplement – Time Style + Design. She has written for Fortune magazine, Paris and British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times, and worked as a fashion expert on CNN. She currently works for Condé Nast Portfolio as the writer of Fashion Inc, a daily online column on the luxury goods world.
Maceira de Rosen has a long standing career in the luxury goods equity research market. She started her career for Morgan Stanley in its number-one-ranked luxury goods team and has been head of the Global Luxury Goods Equity Research team for JP Morgan. She is currently managing director of the Retail and Luxury division of Reig Capital Group.
So, all in all, these authors probably know what they’re talking about. The Towering World of Jimmy Choo is a clearly written, fascinating journey into a world many of us will barely touch.
The book follows the star struck journey of London socialite, Tamara Mellon, her ambitious rise to the top of the shoe pile, and her unlikely pairing with an unknown, backstreet shoe maker – Jimmy Choo – the Malay talent who strikes it lucky with a parade of well-to-do London women. After a fortunate encounter with Princess Diana, Choo becomes popular with this luxe consumer set, consistently in demand for his bespoke heels.
When Mellon begins working with Choo to expand his backyard empire, no one can imagine the exponential rise of this impressive shoe and accessory line – least of all Choo, who eventually becomes a reluctant pawn in this high-powered game.
The Towering World of Jimmy Choo dips into the lives of Mellon and her family including entrepreneurial [and very dashing] father Tom Yeardye. The story also explains the gradual separation from Choo and his brand, and provides meticulously researched insight into the financial and business dealings of the creation of a world class luxury brand.
The business details are sometimes a little heavy-handed in this book, however it is written with enough layman’s terms to keep reader interest, even if you need to skip a heavily saturated paragraph or two. Although it was fascinating to read about the creation of the first Jimmy Choo store and the wheelings and dealings involved in the consistent selling and reselling of the business, I would have liked to learn more about the actual design creation and glamourous lives behind the brand – something that’s not expounded on enough, in my view.
Nevertheless, this book, studded with mid-section photographs, is an interesting read for shoe-lovers, even those not personally invested in big business or the fashion industry. Read it if you want to be taken on an eye-opening entrepreneurial journey, but a passion for luxury brands – and indeed shoes – is probably required to get full enjoyment from this towering journey.
Now, where’s my Hush Puppies?