By Craig Patterson
UK-based luxury footwear and accessory brand Jimmy Choo has opened its first freestanding location in Vancouver in the city’s burgeoning ‘Luxury Zone’.
The store is located at 1035 Alberni Street, spanning 1,549 square feet on one level. It’s Jimmy Choo’s second standalone Canadian store, following the August 2014 opening of a 2,250 square foot location at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
The interior of the new Vancouver store reflects Jimmy Choo’s latest design aesthetic, and the store carries some pricey lines that aren’t found in other Jimmy Choo stores. Some of the prices are into the thousands and according to staff in the new store, its target market is a high-spending Asian shopper that tends to frequent the cluster of luxury boutiques in the area. The store houses footwear and accessory collections for women, and not men.
Jimmy Choo replaced Montreal-based leather goods and fashion retailer m0851, which has operated its Alberni Street location since the spring of 2008. M0851 had said that it had secured a replacement location at CF Pacific Centre, though the company recently ran into financial troubles and is in the process of restructuring its operations.
Luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co. is located a few steps east of the new Jimmy Choo — last year, Tiffany almost tripled the size of its highly productive store with a Burrard Street frontage. Adjacent to the west of Jimmy Choo is a space that formerly housed restaurant Italian Kitchen (which has relocated) and Montecristo Jewellers is said to be opening a store in that space.
The 1000 Block of Alberni Street is home to several pricey jewellery brands. Recent additions include Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC Schaffhausen, Hublot, Panerai and Rolex, joining locations for leading luxury brands such as Prada, Versace, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Burberry. On nearby Burrard Street, Hermes will open a large replacement flagship store at the corner of West Georgia Street and the current Hermes space will eventually be tenanted by Cartier.
Towards the end of this year, Jimmy Choo will be opening a second Toronto store that will span about 2,400 square feet over two levels at 102 Yorkville Avenue. The new Toronto store will be located between Chanel, which opened at 100 Yorkville Avenue in November of last year, and a Brunello Cucinelli flagship that will open in the same purpose-built complex as Jimmy Choo spanning 102-108 Yorkville Avenue.
Jimmy Choo, which was co-founded by designers Tamara Mellon and Jimmy Choo in 1996, has stores globally, including 33 in the United States. In Canada, the brand can also be found in select retailers such as Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.