Jimmy Choo, whose real last name is Chow, was born in 1961 in Pedang, Malaysia. His name was misspelled on a registry and since he didn’t bother to correct the error, he was from then on known as Choo. Jimmy’s talents for design seem to run in the family; his father was the owner/operator of a successful shoemaking shop, Choo Kee Yin Shoemakers. Choo also describes his mother as being very good at shoemaking. His parents trained him in the art and Jimmy proved to be a quick study, making his first pair of shoes at the age of eleven.
Choo left his childhood home of Malaysia and relocated to England, where he spent three years studying at the London College of Fashion, which was then known as Cordwainers College. He graduated with distinction, worked with a shoe manufacturer for a short time, and then opened his own shop in Hackney, England. From the time they were introduced, Jimmy’s footwear was extremely well-loved by his clients, who described them as highly fashionable and surprisingly comfortable. He made everything from shoes, sandals, boots, and high heels, and developed a small pool of loyal customers.