When Carrie in the hit television series Sex and the City really wants to treat herself, she buys a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. Tamara Yeardye Mellon founded the luxury shoe company in 1996 with Jimmy Choo, the couture shoemaker based in London’s East End. In April 2001, Equinox Luxury Holdings, with backing from Phoenix Equity Partners, bought Choo’s share of the business and Robert Bensoussan, head of Equinox, became chief executive. Over the next four years, the company opened 26 new stores and introduced handbags and small leather goods. Combined with advertising campaigns and celebrity endorsement, this boosted sales in Britain by 89% a year, from an annualised £4.1m in 2001 to £27.8m in 2004. That year the company’s worldwide sales were £34.5m. Last year, Lion Capital bought a majority stake, valuing the company at £101m.
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