These days, it seems as if everyone is digging into their archives, looking back to mine something that might be relevant for today’s Y2K-and-beyond obsessed fashion crowd.
The difference from most is that Jimmy Choo’s creative director Sandra Choi has been there all along. The designer began her role at the brand at its inception in 1996, after apprenticing for her uncle Jimmy Choo and then enrolling in Central Saint Martins to study fashion design and eventually take over design duties and the business.
Suffice to say, Choi has plenty in her archives (both digital and some kept in real live sketch books from the very early days), but she’s used them somewhat sparingly. For fall ’22, however, the designer went back to one of her very first collections for the brand to bring back a strappy sandal from 1997 that looks as fresh now as it did in the late ’90s.
“This was a style that I designed back in spring-summer 1997, we brought it out again and we modernized it,” Choi told FN at the brand’s fall ’22 presentation at Milan Fashion Week. “This was the first real collection of shoes that I designed. Back then, I wanted it to be little of a strap as possible, as minimal as possible and as long lasting for dancing as possible.”
Choi said she also looked into archives when working with creative director Casey Cadwallader from Mugler on their collaboration, which debuted in early February.
“With all of these new collaborators, they know Jimmy Choo, they are fascinated by it. When Marine Serre came in, she was already wearing our vintage shoes,” said Choi. “Casey already had highlighted what he liked and I said ‘Why don’t we just go into the archives and open the door for you?’ For me, I’ve been there and done that. But for the people, the creatives around me, they keep bringing things up that are relevant again. That is very refreshing.”
The 1997 sandal was just one style in a comprehensive fall ’22 collection that included styles both for work and play and Choi was mindful to include the former in addition to the party shoes that are populating collections across the season. For example, the designer added a thin rubber sole to the forefoot of a series of pumps with a patent leather cap toe. The sole is not visible off the ground but provides significantly more traction, especially for high heel wearers getting back into heels perhaps with more regularity now.
Choi also brought a chain detailing from the collaboration with Mugler to another series of black and white pumps and added a series of iridescent blue crystal heels for some serious sparkle. “There’s always sparkle,” added Choi.