You may have seen the news yesterday that Michael Kors has acquired the Jimmy Choo fashion brand. While this seems like an odd pairing to some, I think it’s a fantastic move. Before I explain why let me first say that Michael Kors will always hold a soft spot in my heart – my first job post-college was working as the brand’s sales specialist for a major department store.
While MK embossed purses and shoes have become commonplace in mainstream fashion, many don’t realize that Michael Kors actually hails from a luxury background. Following LVMH’s acquisition of the Celine fashion house, he was appointed the Creative Director of the brand in 1999. He held that position in 2003 to focus on developing his eponymous line. In looking at runway photos during the Michael Kors era of Celine, you can see many details that he continues to utilize in his designs.
Rivets, grommets, fringe and fur
Take a look at some of his most recent designs for proof.
Newbury Leather Tote (link)
Cheetah Border Print Shift Dress (link)
Studded Sheath Dress (link)
Faux Fur Trim Down Vest (link)
He is also, notably, the creator of one of Celine’s most famous handbags, the Boogie bag (yes, that is the name). Prior to Phoebe Philo’s appointment as Creative Director, this was the bag that Celine was best known for. It still remains a cult favorite amongst collectors for its elegant style.
Michael Kors seems to embrace an over-the-top, luxurious lifestyle in his designs – which makes the Jimmy Choo acquisition a logical choice.
The Jimmy Choo brand is also a recent creation, having been formed in 1996 by shoe designer Jimmy Choo and Tamara Mellon (a former Vogue accessories editor). This British brand has won numerous awards for its designs and is extremely well-known in popular culture. Princess Diana has been noted as one of the first celebrity fans of the shoes, which certainly helped bring the fashion house mainstream.
When you look at Jimmy Choo, there’s nothing subtle about these shoes. They’re extravagant and unapologetic. Rather than having a light, whimsical style like Kate Spade, Jimmy Choo shoes are “in your face” and abstract.
Hustle Mule (link)
Denney Lace-Up Sandal (link)
Annie Ankle-Strap Sandal (link)
I mean, look at these black pumps. You would think black pumps are something simple, right? Nope.
Lux Embellished Ankle Strap Bootie (link)
While there is some fear amongst the fashion community – I definitely saw some backlash online regarding this decision – that Michael Kors might change Jimmy Choo too much, I think it’s a logical collaboration of two fashion houses that strive for the same aesthetic. Jimmy Choo could help give the Michael Kors brand some much-needed “cred” in the fashion world (it’s lost some respect for going so mainstream), while Michael Kors may help Jimmy Choo reach a wider audience. The two platforms have the opportunity to benefit each other immensely. While this is not something I ever predicted, I’m certainly excited to see how it turns out.