March 15, 2019
Capri Holdings’ Jimmy Choo is dipping its toe into apparel with little to no risk by focusing on selling streetwear online. But will the collection grow into something more sustainable for the brand?
As Jimmy Choo continues to evolve under the company formally known as Michael Kors Holdings, which now also owns Versace, the brand has branched out into apparel for the first time with a line consisting of only hoodies and T-shirts. Currently, the label has a still photography campaign on the collection and its pieces are only available online, but experts are wondering if Jimmy Choo will extend this into a full line.
“Jimmy Choo has had various changes that have defined what one could expect from the brand,” said Kimmie Smith, cofounder, creative director and stylist at Athleisure Mag. “When it was helmed by Tamara Mellon, there were specific assortments in terms of style that spoke to her way of defining the brand.
“Her decisions in terms of licensing for accessories, fragrances and bags to support the brand made it a way for the customer to decide how they wanted to incorporate the brand into their look," she said. "However, it skewed towards an elevated look.
“With Michael Kors creating Capri that has Versace as well as Jimmy Choo, it seemed like a natural progression to incorporate apparel into the product assortment. However, the way and what items would be included wasn’t clear to me."
Ms. Smith is not affiliated with Jimmy Choo, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Jimmy Choo was reached for comment.
Head to toe
Model and actress Kaia Gerber takes the lead in Jimmy Choo’s spring/summer 2019 campaign, which features more than just its footwear.
View this post on Instagram
Instagram post from Jimmy Choo
The still images, photographed by Steven Meisel, feature Ms. Gerber in a variety of Jimmy Choo shoes for the season as well as a limited-edition branded T-shirt and hooded sweatshirt designed in collaboration with M/M Paris creative directors Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag.
Jimmy Choo’s unisex hoodies and tees are priced at $595 and $350, respectively.
Each design features the word "Choo" and "Jimmy" upside, as if a mirror effect, with a large stiletto in the same style, overlaid. Both the T-shirt and hoodie are in black and white, with one featuring black lettering and a white background and the other with the opposite pattern.
Instagram post from Jimmy Choo
While this is a limited-edition, if the brand chooses to roll out more apparel offerings throughout the season in capsule form, it could be well received as a full collection in the future, especially since Jimmy Choo has a distinct style and large following.
“Although the current offering is more streetwear and unisex in nature with two tees and two sweatshirts, I think the possibility of a deeper collection is something that I could conceive and one that incorporate an array of lifestyles from athleisure through evening wear," Ms. Smith said. "A number of the designs as well as hardware for the shoes lends itself to translating to a clothing line.
"I believe that the DNA of Jimmy Choo would be able to have the success of an in-depth line just like any house who has an array of categories within their look book from season to season," she said.
Footwear to everywhere
While this may seem like a natural progression for an accessories brand, as many apparel brands extend into accessories, it is not for all.
While speaking at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in 2018, Jimmy Choo-contemporary footwear designer Christian Louboutin expressed his confidence that his eponymous brand will not produce a clothing line in the future.
With such a thriving footwear label, many have expected Mr. Louboutin to delve into apparel design, but despite many offers the designer is largely disinterested in this line of work. Beauty, on the other hand, is a passion for the designer, which makes the investment in Christian Louboutin Beauty worth it, he explained during a conversation with International Vogue editor Suzy Menkes at the conference on April 18 (see story).
Jimmy Choo has been a driving force for Capri Holdings since its takeover, something that its apparel line could help push forward.
Capri Holdings Limited is seeing growth as a company whole, but its original label Michael Kors is continuing its struggle.
Aiming to be an American counterpart to LVMH, Kering and Richemont, Michael Kors has finished its acquisition of Versace and its takeover of Jimmy Choo delivered a strong performance. In the third quarter ended on Dec. 29, Jimmy Choo had a 35.3 percent jump compared to the previous year (see story).