Tuesday, 31 May 2011

How I founded Jimmy Choo by Tamara Mellon

Tamara Mellon-Founder of Jimmy Choo

In the wake of Jimmy Choo being sold for £525 million this month (May 2011) to luxury brand Labelux, we take a look at how one lady with a love for shoes turned her passion for shoes into a multi-million pound business, in the process turning her into one of the richest people in Britain. This is the story of Stiletto queen Tamara Mellon.

Stiletto queen Tamara Mellon, co-founder of the Jimmy shoe brand, advises “Every girl should have a great open-toed platform shoe in a pale gold fabric, a chic wedge for any on-grass event, and a perfect flat shoe in neutral color for everyday”. Who can disagree!

Mellon, a former accessories editor at Vogue, has every reason to smile in 2011. The Sunday Time Rich List, a compilation of the wealthiest people in Britain released Sunday on 8-may-2011 put Tamara’s wealth at £150million pounds, up from £102million pounds in 2010. That’s a staggering 50% increase in her wealth in just over a year.

Mellon was born in London, on 7 July 1967, the daughter a successful entrepreneur.
She started her career at Mirabella Magazine before joining Vogue Magazine as an accessories editor.

Recognizing the gap in the market for high-end designer shoes, Mellon approached bespoke shoe-maker Mr. Jimmy Choo with the idea of launching a ready-to-wear shoe company. Tamara borrowed £150,000 pounds from her father, and partnered with designer Jimmy Choo to start the business and the rest was history as they way.

Secrets to success

Tamara believed that having a physical store was essential in having a real established brand so she opened her first store in Knightsbridge London in 1996. “When we opened our first shop in London, I think we had only a handful of shoes on the shelves, it was so embarrassing” Tamara tells a CNBC reporter in 2011.

When Tamara started the business, she didn’t apparently envision the tremendous success that’s followed the company.

In 2001, she got her first equity partners, Equinox, when they bought out Jimmy Choo’s shares leaving Tamara with the responsibility of running the company without Jimmy, the original designer. So Tamara took over the designing of the shoes herself and other parts of running the business such as wholesale, PR, manufacturing, “I had to learn all the facets of running the business from designing the shoes, PR, sales, manufacturing, I have done it all, there is absolutely nothing I haven’t done or put my hands in” she narrates to a CNBC reporter.

“What has helped Jimmy Choo expand so quickly in such a short time?”

I think celebrity endorsements have helped the company a lot. Someone once told me that Jimmy Choo has been worn the most by actresses who have gone on to win an Oscar from Halle Berry in 2002, Sandra Bullock in 2010  to Natalie Portman in 2011. We have been so lucky that celebrities who have gone on to win Oscars tend to wear our Choos)” Says Tamara

WELOVEBLING.COM loves Jimmy Choo shoes.

Nothing comes more blinged up than Jimmy Choo shoes as Tamara herself reiterated “Our shoes come with an identity... Most of our shoes glitter with Swarovski crystals, and other extra bits to make them stand out such as leopard prints, snake prints etc”.

Well, way to go Tamara!!

Our Top 5 Jimmy Choos for 2011

Zanzibar embellished suede boots 

These Jimmy Choo blue bead-embellished sand suede open-toe boots are an outfit-defining choice for the new bohemian glamour season.

They are inspired by American Indian art and cultural designs. I don't know what you think of Pocahontas' style, but this pair will surely make it easy for you to borrow her effortlessly chic, exotic look. Just match these cowgirl boots with an off-white shirt and a nude crocheted silk skirt for a cool spring look with an artisan twist. These Jimmy Choo blue bead-embellished sand suede open-toe boots will definitely be your go-to pair whenever you don any of your 70s inspired tunics!


Zanzibar embellished suede boots 

Jimmy Choo Crystal Bowknot Sandals
These are probably one of the most iconic shoes of our time; seriously, it goes without saying that every woman needs a pair of Jimmy Choo's but this particular pair is a must for every woman's wardrobe. These crystal bowknot satin sandals have a rounded open toe with a crystal embellished design that will make your foot and legs more comfortable and attractive at any party you will be at. Simply sparklelicious!

Jimmy Choo Crystal Bowknot Sandals

 Jimmy Choo Vivienne embellished leather snakeskin sandals
These Jimmy Choo's gold disc-embellished brown leather and snakeskin multi-strap sandals (what a mouthful!) are a glamorous new-season style for every girl out there who wants to glam it up for the party season.

Vivienne embellished leather snakeskin sandals

Jimmy Choo Marine crystal embellished leather sandals
We love our bling here and nothing comes more blinged up than these Jimmy Choo sandals below. They come with some serious sparkle crystal-embellished disc detail through the front and black leather self-ties at the ankle.
With Swarovski crystal embellishment and black leather self-tie straps, no pair of shoes comes anywhere near as the perfect embodiment of elegance and edge. Heel measures approximately 110mm/ 4.5 inches. Keep this statement style in focus by teaming with a thigh-skimming sparkly LBD that will bare those legs and hit the party.

Jimmy Choo Marine crystal embellished leather sandals

 Jimmy Choo-Swarovski flame-sandals
There is simply no other way to describe these latest crystal shoes by Jimmy Choo other than captivating. Their beauty lies on the façade decorated with linked crystal discs detailing that are lavishly embellished with very sparkly Swarovski crystals. This gorgeous sparkly detail is held by series of black leather straps on the sides that make this pair more eye-catching and chic than Samantha in Sex and The City.

Jimmy Choo-Swarovski flame-sandals


Post a Comment