The bi-continental and glamorous Tamara Mellon became a household name as the co-founder of Jimmy Choo. As the first to mastermind mainstreaming her shoes as the ultimate diva-esque fashion accessories, by stealing the limelight along with Oscar dresses and having celebrities walk the red carpet in them, she broke through marketing barriers by going where no other shoemaker had gone before. Carrie Bradshaw elevated her ‘Choos’ to the American hearts and “soles”, and the rest is hi…story, or, as you will find out in Tamara’s memoir, In My Shoes, this story.
Not many realize this, but Tamara Mellon broke away from the Jimmy Choo brand two years ago, and is now launching her own couture fashion line with her name leading the way this time around, this fall. Boots, bags, coats, shoes, and everything spanning a complete wardrobe from top to bottom abounds in her namesake brand. As she triumphs at the top of the fashion industry, you wouldn’t think that her life leading up to this climax was actually pitted with turbulence, trials, and dusted over with a little luck and knowing when to engage in a good deal when she saw one.
This mogul didn’t only mastermind the designs of the Jimmy Choo shoe collections, she had the business sense to build a multi-million dollar brand around the globe, while stepping into the chic glamour that the delicate high heels the rich and famous displayed when they wore them. Tamara Mellon lived the brand; and what a better brand to go out and about in, while working to catapult the name Jimmy Choo into not just a fashion statement, but an emblem of the desirable lifestyle, synonymous with poise and power. You wouldn’t necessarily want to walk a mile in her shoes – or should I say Choos – when you realize the obstacles she had to overcome en route to success, while dealing with a self-absorbed mother plagued with alcoholism, her own addictions, a troubled marriage, and a business partnership gone bad.
While a life of luxury seems to be inherent with her connections to famous actors (name drop: Roger Moore, Hugh Grant…) and business leaders (Philip Rogers and Annie Humphries of Vidal Sassoon), she tells all in her memoir In My Shoes. Tamara Mellon doesn’t hold back when she talks about the stubborn opposition she faced from her partner in name, Jimmy Choo. While it might be hard for some to admit their vices in a public forum, she comes clean about her misguided youth where she dabbled in the party scene that England had to offer, that led her thankfully to rehab. Her alcoholic mother shadowed Tamara’s past and then resurfaced to cause mayhem in her life years later, too.
As you thumb through the pages of her life in In My Shoes, you will find yourself cheering her on – beckoning for her big break, as she surmounts the obstacles, climbing higher and higher in her designer heels.
Starting out with her father as a business backer, she was only making a little over $23,000 a year and putting in time and work worth much more when her company first took off the ground. You would think having grown up in an upper class family, she would have been fed the wealthy life on a silver spoon, but that was not the case. Even when she married millionaire Matthew Mellon, she was indebted to paying his family back for her wedding. Oh, and her now ex-husband, was a bi-polar partier with his own addictions, who definitely punctuated her life with a less than fairytale marriage.
“…I was determined to bounce back and have some fun, and on my own terms, thank you very much,” she states in her book with a vivacious confidence. Her vision, her way, is Tamara’s guiding force.
As Tamara relates the details of both her business and personal life, you watch her pull herself up by her stiletto, knee-high bootstraps time and time again. In some ways, since her success was not easy and automatic, these setbacks ignited a fire inside of her that gave her the drive to achieve more, and become the best at what she does. Rather than accepting the difficulties that came her way, they inspired her to surpass what she had already done with her life so far. Receiving the honor of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), bestowed upon her by the Queen of England herself, in 2010, was a magnificent achievement, and yet Tamara continues to aspire to exceed expectations when most would already view her at the top.
Tamara Mellon has a true passion for shoes, accessories and fashion. She started out working for a clothing store in England, moved over to Vogue as an assistant, and used her business savvy and connections to start her own empire with a then not-well-known cobbler, Jimmy Choo. From her shop start in London, to branching out to America by securing her first foothold in Beverly Hills, every page of her book captivates you with amazement how her hard work and timing coincided to bring her brand to the forefront of the upscale fashion industry.
The right shoes symbolically elevate the inner soul (and sole) of a woman, and give her confidence and power in every step, as marked by Tamara’s journey in just a few decades. “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world,” said Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps her words were more figurative than the staples of leather and heels, but both work in the world of fashion. Tamara now places her passion for fashion ahead of the rest with the launch of her new line of shoes, accessories, and clothing while maintaining her fabulous over forty youthful flair as the founder and creative director of TamaraMellon.com.
As Tamara Mellon continues her book tour and fashion line launch in London and flies over the Atlantic to New York City, she and TheLadyinRed have crossed proverbial paths by sharing a commonality, a love of shoes (and Choos!). In anticipation that there are many TheLadyinRedBlog.com shoe lovers out there, Tamara’s team is giving away five hard copies of her new book to readers, which will be loved cover to cover. In My Shoes spoke to me, professionally and personally, and I think everyone can take away some pieces of it as lessons learned, whether it’s not acquiescing to demands in order to escape confrontation as Tamara found herself doing in her early years in business, or making sure to take time out for those you love most, as she does with her daughter, Minty. Most importantly, Tamara stresses that no one should ever undermine your creative process, for a financial, business, or other purpose. In My Shoes is the perfect blend of biography, sprinkled with just the right amount of sparkling celebrity glitz that captivates your attention page for page.
Ready, set…put your best foot forward to try to get In My Shoes, and good luck!
Winners selected on 10/25/2013 and announced/contacted within 48 hours. Open to residents in the Continental U.S. only. You have 5 business days to provide a valid mailing address if you are selected as a winner and contacted, otherwise your prize will be forfeited to the next runner up. This is a giveaway for FUN only. TheLadyinRedBlog.com assumes no liability for anything related to this event.
Follow @TamaraMellon on Twitter, Pinterest, and her brand on Facebook, too!