Shoes on my feet, I got it,” sang Beyonce in the hit song “Independent Woman” with now defunct music girl group, Destiny’s Child. What Beyonce left out was that one of her favorite choices of shoes to keep her feet very “independent” are celebrities and fashion forward women’s #1 choice,Jimmy Choo. With stars like J.Lo, Gywneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and even Katie Holmes, the very successful shoe company, founded by Tamara Mellon, has now been sold to Tower Brook Capital. Tower Brook acquired Jimmy Choo for $364.5million dollars.
Needless to say, a huge profit for a company that started with only $150.000. At the time of sale, Jimmy Choo averages annual sales of 128 million, is sold in 60 shops globally and sells its shoes and hand bags at price points of $600.00 and above. Jimmy Choo’s effective branding got it a spot in the fashion forward television series “Sex in the City” and the recent fashion movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” among others. Last year, the company’s popularity soared even higher when Mellon made an appearance on Oprah. The world, alas, became aware that while Jimmy Choo was indeed an Asian man, the owner of the Trademark and business operations was a very Ladybrille woman by the name of Tamara Mellon.
The sale of Jimmy Choo, of course, got me thinking of Africa’s Jimmy Choo. Does Africa have its own Jimmy Choo? A shoe company that makes shoes that are shaped in very sexy silhouettes yet comfortable African fabrics? Shoes so haute they would have the Ladybrille woman clamoring to adorn her feet in their latest collection? Is there an African company that is positioned to not only make shoes in the caliber of Jimmy Choo’s but also understand the importance of effective branding so that it can ultimately be worth $364.5 million or more, like Jimmy Choo?