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The Towering World of Jimmy Choo: A Glamorous Story of Power, Profits, and the Pursuit of the Perfect Shoe Hardcover – April 28, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Backstabbing and bitchery dominate this tale of woe from fashion journalist Crowe and Rosen, head of the Luxury & Retail division of Reig Capital Group. Dreary writing hobbles what could have been an inspiring portrait of Jimmy Choo's rise from his humble origins (Choo started making shoes at age nine in Malaysia) to the company's astonishing success and sale for $333 million in 2007. The story primarily follows Tamara Mellon, a socialite who convinced Choo to mass-produce his shoes, finally becoming president of the company. Despite an intriguing picture of the luxury trade in '90s London, where the supply of sexy shoes was almost monopolistically controlled by Manolo Blahnik, the details of the corporate in-fighting becomes repetitive and dull; by the time Jimmy becomes dissatisfied with the partnership and Tamara Mellon goes through an ugly divorce, readers are unlikely to care. It turns out that high fashion loses a great deal of its glamour when you examine the business nitty-gritty rather than the glitz. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* As the world economy continues to reel, one burning question prompted by journalist Crowe and financial analyst de Rosen’s riveting history of the ups and downs—and ups again—of the Jimmy Choo brand: Will there continue to be a market for high-end luxury goods? The answer is a toss-up among today’s pundits. Then again, so is the response to the question posed first by the authors: Does Jimmy Choo represent a new business model for luxury brands—or was it simply in the right place at the right time? There is something Sex and the City–like about Jimmy Choo’s rise to fashionista prominence: it’s the tale of many machinations, many different owners (three in less than one decade), and clashes of outsized personalities, incuding Jimmy Choo (yes, he exists!), the Malaysian shoemaking talent; Tamara Mellon, the celebrity president (and her parents); Matthew Mellon, her former husband and an American banking scion–cum–party guy; and Robert Bensoussan, a farsighted CEO and entrepreneur—among dozens of other celebrities and characters. A fascinating, well-written chronology that draws a chillingly accurate behind-the-scenes portrait of a contemporary fashion brand. --Barbara Jacobs