If the Choo fits ...

Mayor Sheila Dixon a fan of the pricey shoes

June 25, 2008|By Jill Rosen | Jill Rosen,Sun reporter

"I lost my Choo!"

In one of the more quoted scenes from the TV series Sex and the City, that's what Carrie cries in exasperation when one of her expensive Jimmy Choo sandals falls off during a dash to the Staten Island Ferry.

Mayor Sheila Dixon, who says she's seen every episode of the HBO series, knows the allure of a Choo herself.

According to a document obtained by The Sun this week, prosecutors investigating Dixon say she picked up a pair of Jimmy Choos on a lavish 2004 shopping spree in Chicago with developer Ronald H. Lipscomb, whom she was in a relationship with at the time.

As the couple hopped from one Michigan Avenue boutique to another, documents noted, Dixon dropped into Saks Fifth Avenue and paid $570 for a pair of Jimmy Choo sandals.

The high-end designer brand, with its stiletto heels, ankle straps and steep price tags, is synonymous with status and sex appeal.

Dozens of the most fashion-conscious celebrities have been photographed in the shoes - everyone from Katherine Heigl at this year's Academy Awards and Victoria Beckham to Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lopez and Helen Mirren.

According to the Jimmy Choo Web site, "The Jimmy Choo philosophy is to create exclusive shoes and accessories that are both luxurious and practical for all occasions.

"The understated distinctiveness of the brand, and its integrity," the site continues, "is controlled with the limited distribution of the products to a few select retailers."

Dixon's $570 pair is actually fairly reasonable for Jimmy Choo. The current line includes shoes that cost considerably more - snakeskin gladiator sandals for $1,295, patent-leather pumps for $755 and black booties with a nearly 5-inch heel for $950.

The $570 was chump change compared to the rest of Dixon's shopping trip, too; according to the prosecutors, she dropped a total of $7,853.17 that day at Armani, Coach and Saks.

Jody Kesner, who works at Joanna Gray shoes in Cross Keys - which stocks plenty of high-end designer labels, but not Choo - thinks women are drawn to the label, largely thanks to Sex and the City.

Like Manolo Blahnik, another previously obscure shoe designer the show popularized, the Jimmy Choo brand is on any aspiring fashionista's wish list, she says.

"Everybody has to have Jimmy Choos now," says Kesner. "People refer to them as 'Choos' instead of 'shoes.' "

Vasarri in Pikesville has carried the iconic brand, which, swears buyer Karen Ciurca-Weiner, is wearable despite the skyscraper heels.

"They're a comfortable shoe for a heel and with a lot of style - that's something that's very hard to find," she says.

Jimmy Choo collectors - and there are collectors - can find everything from flat boots to red-carpet-worthy sandals embellished with glittering stones.

But if you live in Baltimore and want any real selection, you'll have to go online or take a cue from Dixon and head out of town.

"You can get a variety of shoes that will last you a lifetime and never go out of style," Ciurca-Weiner says. "They don't go for the trends that are funky and will go out next season. They're elegant, feminine and classic."


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