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The story behind Princess Diana's favorite Jimmy Choos is the brand's “beginning of it all”

Today, Jimmy Choo is a household name and everyone from Jennifer Lopez to the Princess of Wales is a known fan of the luxury shoe brand. But it was another royal who put that label on the map at the time: Princess Diana.

Specifically, the former Princess of Wales wore baby blue satin slingbacks from Malaysian cobbler paired with a shimmering Catherine Walker miniskirt for the June 1996 Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall. “It really started everything for us,” Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi previously said.

Slingbacks were a bolder choice for Diana, who developed a close friendship with Jimmy Choo after an early start designing shoes for her’90s, when he started visiting her at her home in Kensington Palace. “The slingback style is all the rage,” Choi now tells Vogue. “It’s an evolution of the court shoe, but with a more modern, lighter interpretation, with a covered toe. This style is perfect for Dress for the occasion, less formal than pumps.”

Princess Diana’s custom Jimmy Choos were designed to match her dress – including the purple heels she wore to a dinner in


Photo: Getty Images

Diana is pictured wearing A pair of gold Jimmy Choos paired with her Catherine Walker miniskirt at a 1996 Christie’s party in New York.

Photo: Getty Images

As with many of Diana’s custom choices over the years, the back straps are Born especially to match her pale blue Catherine Walker number. “It was common in the 80 era—if you worked with a fashion designer, your shoes would match perfectly,” explains Choi. The former Princess of Wales always made sure her heels were just right, which is why the satin slingbacks were relatively simple compared to the dazzling embellishments on the dress. “Diana always did a great job of balancing her looks, taking all the details into account — if she was bold in her looks, her shoes were more refined,” Choi continued. “If her outfit is simple, she spices it up with shoes and accessories.”

The former Princess of Wales’ shoe height has improved over time as she has grown more confident over time (just like her jewelry choices got bolder). “When she first wore the Jimmy Choo, it was a court shoe style with a low heel and a 2.5-inch heel height, but over time she [started] walking in classic heels,” Choi explained.

Slingback styles are as popular now as they ever were – Princess Diana’s Jimmy Choos were the ultimate inspiration. “Even back then, you could tell her style was timeless, which is why it’s been cited as a reference time and time again,” concludes Choi.



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