Jimmy Choo debut at H&M

With so many starry designer H&M collaborations happening each year, it’s hard to get as excited about them these days.

With so many starry designer H&M collaborations happening each year, it’s hard to get as excited about them these days.

But Jimmy Choo founder and president Tamara Mellon’s upcoming collection for the brand is special for a number of reasons: 1) It’s the first time the Swedish chain has linked up with an accessories brand. 2) It’s the first time Tamara Mellon has designed ready-to-wear. and 3) The animal print, studded and richly colored shoes and handbags have got all the same lust factor as the expensive accessories you dream about wearing at a price you can actually afford. The queen of luxury shoes talks about designing on a budget.

You’ve long lived in the world of luxury. Was it difficult to create an affordable collection for the masses that still maintains the ritzy aesthetic of Jimmy Choo?

The H&M customer is slightly younger yet we wanted to stay true to what Jimmy Choo is. There’s always a rock chick there, but also a sense of elegance. The Jimmy Choo autumn ’09 collection had a big Debbie Harry and punk rock chic inspiration with leopard print, neon, studs and dynamism. So that was our starting point. For H&M, you can see the trickle down effect. We were not sure at first whether we could use real leathers, studs, crystals and rivets, but when we found what was possible it completely exceeded our expectations.

What advice would you give to shoppers who want a more expensive-looking wardrobe, but on a budget?

Invest in accessories. You can always modernize your look with key accessories.

Did you approach the ready-to-wear design differently from the way you approached the shoes? If so, what were the major differences?

When Margareta van den Bosch approached me with the idea of doing ready to wear as well as the accessories, I thought it would be a great opportunity to create the full look of a Jimmy Choo woman. We first designed the shoes and bags and then followed with the clothes. You could say the clothes are the “accessories” to the shoes and bags. When approaching the clothing collection I first thought, ‘What would I wear with the shoes and bags?’ And Margareta was keen to do a party collection with the launch being in November. We created a fun, accessible collection to reach a young customer with a fashionable and independent spirit.

The collections
• Shoes: Jimmy Choo’s exclusive collaboration with H&M hits stores Nov. 14. From high heels and thigh-high boots to gladiator flats and ballet pumps, the shoe collection will feature crystal embellishments, studs, animal prints such as zebra and accent colours of red and blue.

• Accessories: What’s more, this glimpse into the brand’s glamorous world will also be featuring clothes and accessories for both men and women. Accessories include evening clutches and larger day bags, which are studded or fringed, belts that are studded and wide, choker necklaces, bracelets, cuffs and earrings.

• Clothes: The clothing collection has a gloss goth feel with one-shoulder dresses, jumpsuits, leather leggings and dresses covered in crystals, emphasized by a fake-fur gilet, sequined cardigans and embroidered tops. For men, there will be a selection of ankle boots and bags, as well as a wardrobe of wool blazers, leather biker jackets, silk and cashmere mix sweaters, shirts and trousers.

• Prices: Range from $29.95 to $299.

• Locations: Jimmy Choo for H&M will be available at four locations in Canada: Toronto’s Eaton Centre and 15 Bloor St. W. store, Vancouver’s Pacific Centre and Montreal’s 1100 St. Catherine St.

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