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Datuk Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat OBE[2] (born 15 November 1948) is a Malaysian fashion designer based in the United Kingdom. He is best known for co-founding Jimmy Choo Ltd, which became known for its handmade women's shoes.

Jimmy Choo
Kavita Sidhu, Dato' Jimmy Choo, Heah Sieu Lay, Andrea Fonseka, Amber Chia.jpg
Jimmy Choo (second from left) with (from left) Kavita Sidhu, Heah Sieu Lay, Andrea Fonseka and Amber Chia.
Born Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat
(1948-11-15) 15 November 1948 (age 69)[1]
George Town, Crown Colony of Penang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Residence London, England
Alma mater Cordwainers Technical College
Occupation Fashion designer
Spouse(s) Rebecca Choi
Children 2; Danny Choo and Emily Choo
  • Choo Kee Yin (father)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 周仰傑
Simplified Chinese 周仰杰
Tâi-lô Tsiu Ióng-kia̍t


Early lifeEdit

Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia, into a family of shoemakers. His family name is Chow but was misspelled on his birth certificate as Choo. He studied at Shih Chung Primary School in Love Lane, Penang. His father taught him how to make shoes, and it is often reported that he made his first shoe when he was 11 years old.[3]

Between 1982 and 1984, Choo studied at Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney (now part of the London College of Fashion) in London, England.[4] Choo worked part-time at restaurants and as a cleaner at a shoe factory to help fund his college education.


After graduating from college, Choo began work at a shop in Hackney which he opened in 1986 by renting an old hospital building. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed and his creations became featured in eight pages in a 1988 issue of Vogue. Patronage from Diana, Princess of Wales from 1990 further boosted his image.

In 1996 he co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd with British Vogue magazine accessories editor Tamara Mellon. In April 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. He has since concentrated his work on the exclusive Jimmy Choo Couture line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd. The Jimmy Choo London line, also known as Jimmy Choo Ready-To-Wear or, simply, Jimmy Choo, is under the purview of Tamara Mellon. The ready-to-wear line has expanded to include accessories such as handbags.

Personal lifeEdit

Choo lives in London and is currently involved in a project to set up a shoemaking institute in Malaysia. His company continues to produce expensive high-end shoes

He is married to Rebecca Choo (née Choi) from Hong Kong. The couple have a son, Danny, and a daughter, Emily. A niece of the couple, Lucy Choi, followed in her uncle's footsteps by becoming a shoe designer.

He is mentioned in Fetty Wap's 2015 hit titled "Jimmy Choo", Placebo's track "Follow the cops back home", Vybz Kartel's song "Yabba Dabba Doo" and the Bollywood hit song "Abhi toh Party Shuru Hui Hai" from the movie "Khubsurat" (2014).

Choo and his designer godson Reggie Hung have launched a spectacular exhibition "Genavant- Step to Elegance" at the Cambridge International Art Gallery on 2 February 2018 filled with ‘elegance and grace’.

Awards and honoursEdit

  • 2000: Bestowed a state award carrying the title of Dato' by the Sultan of Pahang state in Malaysia
  • 2002: Conferred an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to the shoe and fashion industry in the UK
  • 2004: Awarded the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of his home state of Penang, which also carries the title Dato'[5]
  • 2004: Awarded an honorary doctorate in art by De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, for his contribution to their unique Single Honours Footwear Design degree
  • 2009: Awarded an Honorary Fellowship by University of the Arts London[6]
  • 2011: Winner of "The World’s Outstanding Malaysian Designer 2011" Design for Asia Award for the "Daniel" part
  • 2012: Received You Bring Charm to the World – the Most Influential Malaysian Award
  • 2013: Became a member of the Red Dot product design jury.[7]


  1. ^ Newsmakers (2006) Gale Biography In Context, Detroit
  2. ^ Back from London to receive award, 27 August 2004
  3. ^ Wong Chun Wai (14 December 2013). "The Jimmy Choo connection". The Star. 
  4. ^ "London College of Fashion (formerly Cordwainers College) - Jimmy Choo OBE". Association of Colleges. 
  5. ^ Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday honours list, 10 July 2004
  6. ^ "UAL Honorary Fellows and Doctorates". Retrieved 5 April 2018. 
  7. ^ "Red Dot Design Award: Icon of the fashion world: Dato' Professor Jimmy Choo debuts as a red dot juror in 2013". Retrieved 5 April 2018. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit