Name: Jimmy Choo
Date of birth: 15 November 1948
Occupation: Shoe designer
How he got started: Born into a family of shoemakers in Penang, Jimmy Choo learned the art of shoemaking from his father. It has been said that Jimmy made his first pair of shoes when he was 11 years old. Upon graduation from Cordwainers Technical College in 1983, he began working at a shop in Hackney where his craftsmanship and designs caught the eyes of the media. The late Princess Diana was a fan of his work and this further boosted his credentials.
In 1996, Jimmy co-founded his own company with British Vogue's accessories editor, Tamara Mellon. Together, they grew the brand and business focusing on high-end footwear. By the late 1990s, Jimmy Choo's presence spread to Los Angeles and New York with a bevy of celebrity following including Julia Roberts and Renee Zellweger. However, the partnership didn't last and in April 2001, Jimmy sold his 50 percent stake in the company. Jimmy then went on to start Jimmy Choo Couture—a line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd.
Notable achievements: The Penangite is still active in the footwear industry, acting as the Ambassador for Footwear Education at the London College of Fashion and a spokesperson for the British Council. Jimmy received the O.B.E.—the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
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