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Cox, Patrick

Patrick Cox was born in 1963 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but grew up all over the world thanks to his dad Terry’s job as a linguist. He found his way into fashion after moving to Toronto, where he accidentally found a job sourcing accessories for local designer Loucas Kleanthous. One day, when he couldn’t find a particular pair of shoes for a show, Cox bought some cheap, Chinese slippers, which he customised with trim. Spotting a special talent, Kleanthous advised Cox to move to England to study shoe design and in 1983, aged 20, he moved to London to study at Cordwainers Technical College.

Still a student, he produced footwear - a pair of gold, platform shoes - for Vivienne Westwood and Body Map. By the time he graduated in July 1985, Cox was one of the hottest new names in fashion and already working for the likes of John Galliano, Alistair Blair, Anna Sui, Katherine Hammnett and John Flett. These influential designers and their shows were pivotal to his visibility and future success.

In August 1985, Cox set up his own company to design, produce, and wholesale footwear. In 1987 he launched his own private label collection, first producing in England and later moving production to Italy. His first retail shop was opened in London in September 1991, and several years later it was followed by Paris and New York shops and franchise shops in France and Japan.

In 1993 Cox launched his "Wannabe" line, a moderately priced line of loafers for men and women available in 60 styles and materials ranging from patent leather to leopard print and python skin. The Wannabe success received serious press coverage and resulted in 400,000 pairs sold. The same year Cox introduced PC's, a cheaper diffusion range of high fashion "fun" shoes, revitalising the jelly sandal.

He now has two stores in both France and Hong Kong, as well as one in Singapore, another in Manchester and a showroom on New York’s Madison Avenue. There are also scores of Cox concessions in posh department stores around the world.

In 2003, Patrick Cox started working as the designer of the French shoe house Charles Jourdan. He has immersed himself in the Charles Jourdan archives and is confident of making contemporary shoes as successful as in the past.