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Jimmy Choo Brand

 

  Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo
Bare Feat
by Charlotte Jane Dyson
February 17, 2003

They say that every woman should own at least one pair of three-inch heels. And today women have their pick of top designers brands such as Manolo Blahnik, Fendi and, of course, Jimmy Choo. The exquisite detail, impeccable quality and luxurious style of these brands immediately explain Imelda Marcos's immense shoe collection.
 
Just six years old, Jimmy Choo's is run by its founder Tamara Mellon, formerly of Vogue, and Sandra Choi, creative director. Through nine collections, they have created a superb brand with limited, exclusive availability. How does a website fit into this identity? Will it entice you to indulge your fantasy and forgo your comfy slippers for a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos?

 
 
Jimmy Choo When first visiting the JimmyChoo.com, the user will be met with a simplistic page with seven icons, including a Home, Contact, and Stockist icon. The other sections are sparse in detail and nowhere does the website shout glamour, glitz or status. There is only one glamorous model shot throughout the site and this is on the home page where a woman, looking both provocative and tasteful, is featured wearing a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. This is a website where less is clearly more.

The Jimmy Choo collection is designed twice per year (Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer) and the website is updated accordingly. The women's shoe collection is divided into different themes with fantastic names like the Tutti Frutti, Pom Poms, Doris Day and Candy Pops range. For each range there is a clear and simple shot of each shoe or boot which can be enlarged with a click to show a larger picture of the shoe with a few brief details – namely its color, composite and price (in euros, pounds and dollars). That's it. No alluring leg with a delicate shoe draped on the end. You either like it and want it, or you don't.

Offline, Jimmy Choo's strict distribution of its range means that the collection is available only through high-end department stores and specialty boutiques. If the profile of the major stores does not meet the required standard then requests for stock are refused. A clever but risky strategy, especially when you consider that the company has only been established for a relatively short period of time.

Jimmy Choo boutiques are designed as high-end couture saloons situated only in prime locations: London, New York, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas. A new boutique has recently opened at Harvey Nichols and the 40s-style boudoir with its intimate style, velvets and soft pastel décor, will become the new trademark style for the brand. The intention is to translate this feel across all the boutiques as well as the website, which provides a glimpse of the scrupulous elegance that will be the requirement for each boutique.

However, none of these values are translated when you view the shoes on the website. Yes, the photography of each shoe in the collection is clear and uncluttered, but you get none of the sumptuousness and elegance that is clearly essential in the boutiques. As the company states, an integral part of the Jimmy Choo philosophy is "to provide the customer with the ultimate experience in luxury retailing." Surely then, to ensure brand integrity, some of these values should be built into purchasing the shoes on the net. Yet currently there is nothing to lure the consumer from her slippers into three-inch heels. The shop icon, which leads directly to the Net a Porter website, is also confusing as the range for sale on this site does not match the collection on the Jimmy Choo site.

 

Charlotte Jane Dyson is a marketing consultant. She lives in Yorkshire, England, and spent fourteen years in consumer marketing with Nestlé.

     
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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