Blockbuster deal

Shoe knew? Michael Kors buys fancy footwear maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion

Shoe knew? Michael Kors buys fancy footwear maker Jimmy Choo

Zendaya and Michael Kors at watch launch party
Michael Kors, with Zendaya at the launch party for his smartwatch at his SoHo store during New York Fashion Week last fall. Getty Images for Michael Kors

Michael Kors is expanding into fancy footwear. The company owned by the designer known for luxe sportswear and moderately-priced handbags is buying Jimmy Choo, the high-priced shoe brand that rose to prominence as the fictional Carrie Bradshaw's favorite in the classic TV series, Sex and the City. The price: A cool $1.2 billion.

Kors, who has been in the fashion business for most of his life but burst to fame as the acerbic judge on Project Runway around 15 years ago, owns 10 stores in the Houston area, including The Galleria, Memorial City, Willowbrook, Sugar Land (First Colony Mall), Friendswood (Baybrook Mall), two stores in The Woodlands (Market Street and Woodlands Mall), and outlets in Texas City, Katy, and Cypress.

Jimmy Choo has a store in The Galleria.

The deal comes at an uncertain time in the fashion industry, with brands trying to strike a balance between online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores. Earlier this year, in a sign of growing consolidation among brands, Coach agreed to buy Kate Spade for $2.4 billion. At about the same time, Kors said it would close 100 to 125 stores amid a slump in sales. The company has 960 stores round the world.

Kors officials said the brand plans to open new Jimmy Choo retail stores and increase its online presence. Choo, which has expanded into fragrances, sunglasses, and luggage, is also expected to offer other fashion products under Kors leadership.