|Jimmy Choo Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 5 in|
|Date of Birth||1961|
|Spouse||Rebecca Choo née Choi|
Jimmy Choo is a Malaysian fashion designer who started the widely popular line of shoes named Jimmy Choo Limited. His customized collections of shoes make even celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Madonna, and Michelle Obama drool over their magnificence and glamour. He sold his share in the company in 2001 but continues to practice his art of shoemaking by creating customized shoes on a weekly basis. His line of shoes gained immense popularity after Princess Diana became a customer of the line.
Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat
Jimmy Choo was born in 1961.
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Jimmy Choo resides in London, England and also owns a residential property in Malaysia.
Jimmy Choo acquired his early education from Shih Chung Primary School in Love Lane, Penang.
After learning the craft of shoe-making from his father, Jimmy relocated to London, England, at the age of 21, to study at Cordwainers Technical College in 1982, which is now a part of London College of Fashion.
- Father – Choo Kee Yin (Shoe Designer)
- Mother – Unknown (Shoe Designer)
- Siblings – One Older Sister
- Others – Sandra Choi (Niece of Jimmy’s Wife) (Creative Director of Jimmy Choo), Lucy Choi (Niece) (Younger Sister of Sandra by 2 years) (Business Owner of Lucy Choi Shoes), Reggie Hung (Godson) (Designer)
5 ft 5 in or 165 cm
56 kg or 123.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Jimmy Choo has dated –
- Rebecca Choo née Choi (1982-Present) – Jimmy met Rebecca, who is originally from Hong Kong, China, in 1982 while studying at Cordwainers Technical. She was his classmate. When Jimmy started his business in 1986 in Hackney, London, he usually worked 15 hours a day. Rebecca would not only join him and help him with his work but she would also cook food for his staff. Being grateful for her dedication and sincerity, Jimmy eventually married Rebecca. Together the couple has a son named Danny Choo, who is an entrepreneur based in Japan and a daughter named Emily Choo who is a pastry chef. Jimmy proudly shared in an interview that both of his children know the art of designing and making a good shoe but do not practice that craft commercially.
Race / Ethnicity
Jimmy Cho has Chinese ancestry.
- Slight build and narrow shoulders
- Round face
- Receded hairline
He is exclusively associated with the ready to wear shoes created in his name. Although the designer left Jimmy Choo Limited way back in 2001 by selling his share for £10 million, he continues to produce handmade shoes sold as Jimmy Choo Couture line under the license from the original company.
Best Known For
- Creating customized handmade shoes
- Princess Diana was one of his earliest high profile patrons in the early 90s before Jimmy Choo Limited was established in 1996 and when the shoemaker worked from a shop in London
- Other high profile clients of his handmade shoes include Madonna, Michelle Obama, Elle Macpherson, and Nicole Kidman
Jimmy Choo hasn’t been cast in any theatrical film yet.
First TV Show
Jimmy Choo’s first TV show appearance was in the comedy series Pink Slip in an episode in 2009 where he played the role of a Fashion Photographer.
- Instead of a personal trainer, Jimmy has a spiritual teacher. In 2002, it was reported that Jimmy is an earnest disciple of a Malaysian Feng Shui expert named Wong Chee Yew and with his teachings and influence, the designer learned to read auras.
- His diet mantra is to eat less and selectively.
- The designer tries to keep himself free of anger and worry by meditating as often as possible.
- The only bad habit Jimmy struggles with is his tendency to sleep late at night. But, he consciously pursues a full night’s sound sleep.
Jimmy Choo Favorite Things
- City – Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur
- Place In Britain – Bath (City), Scotland
- Pastime – Singing Karaoke
- Holiday Destination – Langkawi, Cameron Highlands (in Malaysia), Japan
- Traveling Companion – His wife, Rebecca
- Airlines – First class in Malaysian Airlines
- Book – Any book of poetry by Buddhist Masters
- Hotel – Shangri-La Rasa Sayang in Penang, The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm
- Morning Activity – Long, slow walk by the beach followed by meditation and gazing at the sunrise
- Cuisine – Nyonya, Chinese, Malay
- Dishes – Curry Kapitan, Clay pot fish curry, Char kuey teow at Lebuh Kimberly in Penang
- Restaurant – Mama’s Kitchen in Georgetown, Sawara Steamboat in Penang
- Essential Items – Shoes, Mobile Phone, Supplements
- Childhood Memory – Swimming across the straits in Penang with his friends
- Source Of Inspiration – Foreign travel
- Country To Buy Shoes – Italy for shoes, Malaysia for Sandals
- Fashion Industry – London
- Type Of Holiday – Cultural Breaks
Source – SCMP, Independent, Buro 24/7, Telegraph
Jimmy Choo Facts
- His actual family name is ‘Chow’. But owing to a spelling mistake on his birth certificate, he was designated with the last name ‘Choo’.
- At an early age, Jimmy decided to abide by the Chinese tradition of adopting his father’s vocation and started learning the craft of making shoes at the age of 7. He made his first pair of shoes at the age of 11 for his mother.
- He practiced martial arts during his childhood and teen years.
- Jimmy chose London as a destination for higher learning because he could neither speak French nor Spanish which are commonly spoken in most of the European countries.
- He could only speak a few broken words of English and therefore, improved his language skills by watching the 10 pm news on the television while studying design.
- Upon graduating, Jimmy settled in London and worked for 2 design companies for a total of 9 years before committing himself completely to his own business.
- The designer was bestowed with the title of “Datuk” by the Sultan of Penang, Malaysia in 2000 and was also honored with the Order of the British Empire in 2002 for his contribution to the British fashion industry. Ever since, he is respectfully addressed as Professor Datuk Jimmy Choo, OBE.
- His very first label of handmade shoes was called Lucky Shoes that he sold at a stall in South Bank market, London.
- Since business was poor during his early years as a designer, switching the name of his shoes after his own name was an attempt by him to get more recognition.
- With the help of his parents, Jimmy opened his first shop in 1986 by renting an old hospital building.
- His craftsmanship gained recognition for the first time in London Fashion Week in 1988 that led to Vogue magazine doing an 8-page spread of his shoes.
- Media publicity earned Jimmy the patronage of Princess Diana throughout the 90s era. The designer often feels humbled and honored to recall that whenever he visited the princess at Kensington Palace for a consultation, she would often walk him to his car.
- The designer’s funniest memory of a visit to Kensington Palace is when little Prince Harry spotted Jimmy Choo in the garden and shouted, “Jackie Chan!”
- He sold all his shares in Jimmy Choo Company and departed from the organization in 2001. Since then, he has taken up the role of visiting Professor with not only London College of Fashion but several other universities in other countries. At the same time, he has also dedicated himself to promoting education in his home country, Malaysia.
- Contrary to the popular belief, Tamara Mellon and Jimmy’s niece Sandra Choi are the actual brains behind Jimmy Choo Limited becoming a globally recognized, international brand. While Tamara parted ways with the company in 2011, Sandra continues to work in the role of Creative Director of the company. American retailer Michael Kors acquired the luxury shoe brand for US$1.2 billion in 2017.
- Datuk Jimmy Choo, on the other hand, travels the world to teach and still makes up to 5 pairs of handmade shoes a week.
- Influenced by his Buddhist value system, every time Jimmy lands in a foreign country, he places his hand on the ground in gratitude and prays for his safety and positive new friendships. When people stare at him curiously, he pretends to tie his shoelace.
- Visit the official website of the world-renowned company created in his name @ jimmychoo.com.
- To catch a glimpse of the latest Jimmy Choo product line, follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Follow Professor Datuk Jimmy Choo on Instagram.
Featured Image by Lawrence Wang / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0