30 July 2009

Charles Jourdan revived for 2009

Charles Jourdan is coming back under the expert skills of respected shoe designer Alexandra Neel. Charles Jourdan footwear is a name long associated with the excesses of Imelda Marcos's shoe collection – she was quite the fan of Jourdan stilettos. At the height of the brand's fame in the '60s and '70s, advertising campaigns shot by legendary photographer Guy Bourdin led to ladies going to the ends of the earth to try and track down their favourite pairs (this was long before the ease of the internet). Charles Jourdan was renowned for his innovative designs and interesting materials, putting him in a league of his own at the time. Unfortunately, in 2002, after 83 years in business, the company filed for bankruptcy, and it was sold to an investment fund that put Patrick Cox in charge of design for two years, before he left and the company fell quiet. There were brilliant rumours circulating in 2007 that Paris Hilton's mum, Kathy, was planning to buy the company and design the shoes herself. Alas, that never happened.


However, the current revival looks set to be a better fit. Alexandra Neel comes with an established background, having worked for Balenciaga and Celine, as well as her own label. ‘Jourdan comes with old heritage so it will be interesting to see what Alexandra brings to the table,' Ida Petersson, Harvey Nichols shoe buyer told us. ‘We stocked her a while back and the shoes are beautiful. I think they could be a good match.' But we will all have to wait until Paris Fashion Week, when the new collection will be revealed at the Premiere Classe exhibition.


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