Milan Fashion Week: Jimmy Choo men's debut is part James Bond, part Austin Powers
"It's basically for the boyfriend of our existing Jimmy Choo customer," as one company representative put it, "but also someone who appreciates details." (And by that she presumably means details beyond simply the fact that his lady friend wears Jimmy Choos.)
One pair of loafers has a chunky pewter bit inspired by a '70s men's bracelet the brand's founder and chief creative officer, Tamara Mellon, found at a vintage store in Los Angeles. A pair of evening slippers and a pair of sneakers are covered in a velvet jacquard paisley with hidden burlesque silhouettes inspired by the shadowed female forms from the James Bond films of the '70s.
In fact, the whole collection has a vibe that's a cross between classic Briton and '70s Mayfair playboy -- think one part James Bond and two parts Austin Powers.
The styles in the relaunch collection includes Oxfords, Derbys, monkstraps, dress boots, biker boots, Chelsea boots, and a range of loafers and trainers (aka sneakers). (Jimmy Choo exited the men's side of the business in 2002 to focus on expanding the women's side, but the success of the men's shoes that were part of the recent H&M collaboration convinced the company that the time had come to reenter the men's side.)
The most wild and eye-catching part of the collection has to be the range of evening slippers that, in addition to the "porno paisley" pattern (pictured at top), include exotic animals prints such as black-and-white-leopard-printed pony and Bengal-tiger-printed pony.
Aimed at the wide-open territory between classic men's shoe and the most fashion-forward footwear, most of the collection will retail between $595 and $1,095, with a few exceptions -- such as the real crocodile-skin half-boot with a sterling-silver zipper pull, which will set you back a cool $9,000.
The bricks-and-mortar distribution is expected to be selective, but the collection will definitely be available through the Jimmy Choo website starting in July.
-- Adam Tschorn in Milan, Italy
Photos: The debut Fall and Winter 2011 Jimmy Choo men's footwear collection includes leopard-print-lined Hunter Wellingtons with a faux crocodile pattern (top at left), and a range of sneakers (top at right) including one with a James Bond-inspired jacquard paisley pattern with a hidden female figure. The entire collection has a '70s vibe, including a loafer (at bottom) with a pewter bit inspired by a men's bracelet found in an L.A. vintage store. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times