February 5, 2024

Jimmy Choo: ‘Princess Diana wasn’t like other royals – she’d try and carry my things for me!’

The legendary fashion designer’s shoes have been adored by everyone from Beyoncé to ‘Sex and the City’ heroine Carrie Bradshaw. Following the launch of his first fashion school in London, he speaks to Ellie Muir about his brand, his humble beginnings and his friendship with Diana, Princess of Wales

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I have spent mere minutes with Jimmy Choo, the ubiquitous King of Shoes, and he’s already told me about his friendship with Princess Diana, inquired about my marriage plans, and analysed my footwear.

“Cowboy boots,” the 75-year-old whispers, eyeing up my feet. I ready myself for criticism. “Very nice!” I can breathe again. “When are you getting married?” he asks. “Because when you do, give me a call and we can do your dress and shoes!” I’m not engaged, but I make a mental note to find myself a fiancé immediately upon completion of our interview.

This is Choo in a nutshell: endearing, disarming and slightly, but brilliantly, eccentric. It was in 1996 that Choo earned his “King of Shoes” nickname, having co-founded his eponymous label with business associate Tamara Mellon, then an accessories editor at British Vogue. The brand’s stiletto heels became something of a cultural phenomenon in the Nineties: “I lost my Choo!” wailed Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw when she tumbled out of her footwear while trying to catch a ferry. For Beyoncé’s unofficial remix of 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, she crooned: “Jimmy Choo kicks, killin’ it”.

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