Looking Back: 20 Years of Iconic Jimmy Choo Moments and Crazy Red Carpet Requests

Sandra Choi - Jimmy Choo Party - H - 2016
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo's creative director Sandra Choi: "Sex and the City was part of our DNA."

Hot on the heels of the brand’s smash 20th anniversary bash at #NYFW, Jimmy Choo’s creative director Sandra Choi talks Carrie Bradshaw, the perfect polish and the craziest request she ever received for a red carpet awards show (hint: children’s Choos!).

Pret-a-Reporter: Jimmy Choo is a London-based label, so what made you decide to host your 20th anniversary party in New York City?

Sandra Choi: We’re a British company, but people think of Jimmy Choo as a global brand and I really wanted to reflect that … London is on one side and L.A. is on the other, but New York is right bang in the middle, so it just felt right.

What are a few of the top NYC Jimmy Choo moments of all time?

Most definitely our store opening here in 1998—it was the first one outside of the U.K. And, of course, Sex and the City. It was part of our DNA—Carrie Bradshaw [Sarah Jessica Parker] was like, “I lost my Choo!” Who could forget that?

The cast of Sex and The City

What shoes trends do you love right now?

The 90’s are huge, but it needs to have a twist. I recently launched a new ‘Romy pump. It has a sharp heel, but unlike the long toe-shapes seen in the nineties, it has a bit shorter and more slender toe. It feels fresh. I’m really into volume and height too. And, we’re seeing a lot of novelty with shoes—furry insoles. I also love that you can wear evening shoes with daytime jeans and it’s okay.

 What’s the perfect nail color for pedicures going into fall and red carpet season?

I’m a sucker for red! I love a deep seductive red. But, it’s all about finding the right tone—I like reds with a touch of pink. I’m actually still looking for the perfect polish. I ask people all of the time what shade they’re wearing.

What are Jimmy Choo’s top three red carpet moments?

For me, the first standout is Princess Diana. Very early on I made some shoes and delivered them to her and when I’d see her wearing them it was like, ‘Oh wow!’. I also loved my first Oscar experience—it was Cate Blanchett. We did everything via long distance. I think she wore a Galliano dress and it had a very low mesh back in midnight blue. Cate’s an amazingly talented actress and she can wear absolutely any designer she chooses, but she chose us! My third favorite moment involves a rule breaker—Uma Thurman stepped out onto the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and walked up the Grand Palais steps wearing flat sandals with an evening gown. It was different and I loved it—and she had the height to pull it off. Who’s to say that glamour has to be trying? I think that really spoke to the modern woman.

Cate Blanchett at the 1999 Oscars donning Jimmy Choo heels

What’s the craziest request you’ve ever received for a red carpet shoe?

Abigail Breslin was going to the Oscars for Little Miss Sunshine and her publicist asked for a pair of shoes. I think she was around 9-years-old. I wanted to create something age-appropriate, but at the same time I wanted her to feel great and just like the other grownups. We made her a custom pair of strappy sandals with a little, teeny-tiny heel in a shoe size one or two.

You just unveiled a new ad campaign last night at the 20th anniversary event—can you tell us a little bit about it?

I picked seven women that represent all of the different facets of Jimmy Choo, whether dynamic or fun or edgy or elegant, but all strong and confident — Amber Valletta, Milla Jovovich, Taylor Hill, Lexi Boling…. I wanted it to be inclusive of all the different types of women we know and just fun!