Jimmy Choo Celebrates 15 Years
by Amanda Weiner
|Head over heels: Tamara Mellon in her Bleecker Street shop|
|Kelson pump ($1,995) and Kyrie bootie ($1,295), in black mesh and crystals|
|Draycott patent-leather men’s oxford ($795)|
If you happened to be strolling along Bleecker Street on a particular autumn weekday afternoon, you might have been lucky enough to find a few unusual items in the window of the newly opened Jimmy Choo boutique, most notably, Ms. Tamara Mellon—the brand’s cofounder and chief creative officer (not to mention an Officer of the British Empire)—in lieu of the standard storefront mannequin. The statuesque British beauty and fearless champion of Jimmy Choo style, Mellon was perched ever so elegantly on one of the ivory upholstered vintage chairs in the window. Her black suede Isabel Marant cropped pants perfectly highlighted her iridescent, magenta python and laceprint Tippi pumps, one of 10 styles at the center of this season’s Icons collection.
“We have thousands of shoes in our archives, but there were some that were seminal for Jimmy Choo, either because they marked a significant moment in our history, or they became famous as a result of the glorious women who wore them,” says Mellon of the Icons collection, whose release coincides with a book that celebrates the brand’s 15th anniversary, Jimmy Choo XV (Rizzoli New York; $75). For example, Sex and the City fans may recall Carrie Bradshaw’s obsession with Jimmy Choo, her stiletto of choice when running across Fifth Avenue. “I consistently receive the most inquiries about the Feather shoe that was made famous by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City,” Mellon recalls of the design, reinterpreted for the Icons collection as the Marlene. “The shoe was woven into the story line when Carrie ‘lost her Choo.’ From that moment, Jimmy Choo really skyrocketed in the public’s awareness.”
Choo's NYC Home
New York was the first stateside retail location for Jimmy Choo and continues to be the US home for the ever-expanding label. This newest boutique on Bleecker reaffirms the brand’s commitment to the New York market. “To expand the brand’s footprint in New York City was always part of our long-term growth strategy,” says Mellon. “We have been searching for the right locations and we are thrilled with the space.”
Consistent with all of the brand’s retail locations, the space evokes the “architectural glamour of a 1940s boutique.” Featuring a soft, neutral palette and boudoir-like details such as crystal chandeliers and mirrored surfaces, the store exudes feminine luxury. Its convenient location hasn’t gone unnoticed. “Every time I am in the Bleecker Street store I must stop for cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery for my daughter, Minty,” Mellon adds.
Housed inside the landmarked West Village townhouse is the full range of women’s accessories, including the 24:7, holiday, and resort collections, which recall “beautiful coastlines and glamorous poolside scenes” as well as “the modern urban landscape—the ultimate backdrop to any wild escapade.” As the jet set wearer might venture from the island of St. Barth’s (Mellon’s holiday getaway) to the Big Apple, the collection also takes a journey, “from luxurious ladylike totes, which follow clean graphic lines, to hand-knitted raffia hobo bags, and from tall playfully colored wedges to sophisticated skyscraper stilettos in glossy patent finishes.” Mellon’s astute understanding of modern glamour and her international customer keeps her designs on point; she thinks of her inspirations globally, so to speak. “I like to call it zeitgeist—it is more of a mood, a general attitude. I have been on inspirational trips with my team to India, Istanbul, and Miami to name just a few destinations, but we also find inspiration in music, art, and photographic images and are often inspired by a particular iconic figure or time in fashion, such as the ’80s mood of post-punk pop.”
In addition to debuting the Icons collection and the book, Jimmy Choo has also celebrated its 15th anniversary, expanded the 24:7 collection to include luggage, and launched its first men’s collection, which follows suit with British design and pristine Italian craftsmanship. Always looking forward, Mellon concludes, “Even with all that we have accomplished, what excites me most is the thrill of the next project, the next challenge.” 407 Bleecker St., 212-366-1305
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DEBORAH ANDERSON (MELLON, SHOE INTERIOR)
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.