We love leaks.
The Business of Fashion has an exclusive first look at the new Jimmy Choo book to be published by Bloomsbury in the UK and the US in March 2009, entitled “The Towering World of Jimmy Choo: A Glamorous Story of Power, Profits and Pursuit of the Perfect Shoe.”
Lauren Goldstein Crowe, a fashion and business journalist, and Sagra Maceira de Rosen, head of the Luxury & Retail division of Reig Capital Group, have teamed up to write the first fashion book to cover both the design side and the business side with equal vigour and rigour.
The book tells the story of how one Tamara Yeardye (now known as Tamara Mellon), an accessories editor at British Vogue meets one Jimmy Choo, and turns him from couture shoe designer into £185m brand. Today, Jimmy Choo (the brand) kicks it heels with Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik in the triumvirate of high-potential luxury shoe businesses, but Jimmy Choo (the man) is no longer involved in the business that bears his own name.
Along with Robert Bensoussan, Jimmy Choo’s former CEO (Gucci Group-trained Josh Schulman has now replaced him), Ms. Mellon created one of the most famous new fashion brands to emerge in the past 10 years. Can you think of another name that has become so recognisable in such a short period of time?
Through some savvy marketing (Sex and the City style), a design partnership with Choo’s niece Sandra Choi (who broke ranks with her uncle to work with Mellon), and apparently a good deal of coy manoeuvring (this book has drama and intrigue too), Mellon and Bensoussan sold 83% of the business to Towerbrook Capital and its affiliates for £185m in 2007 (versus only £20m in 2001), at a rumoured EBITDA multiple of 13x, which is very high by industry standards.
This book is sure to cause a frenzy when it is published, as fervent fashion business executives, private equity gurus, admiring entrepreneurs, brand managers and, of course, the brand’s fans will all have reason to find out just exactly how Mellon and Bensoussan did it.