Monday, 14 November 2011

City Girl Reports: Tamara Mellon leaves Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo co-founder, Tamara Mellon

Tamara Mellon has announced her resignation from Jimmy Choo, the brand she founded with the now world-famous shoe designer in 1996. In addition to Mellon's departure as co-founder and chief creative officer, Jimmy Choo's chief executive Joshua Schulman has also resigned. He will leave in early 2012, whilst Mellon will stay on until the end of November. Both Mellon and Schulman step down following the label's acquisition by luxury goods group Labelux, in May 2011. Sandra Choi and Simon Holloway will continue as creative directors of Jimmy Choo

Tamara Mellon modelled for Jimmy Choo's first fragrance campaign

Winning 'Business woman of the Year' at last week's Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2011 wouldn't have come as a surprise to Mellon's fans, who have watched in awe as the driven yet likeable entrepreneur catapulted a small cobbler (and herself) to the heights of fame and success. Having received The Jimmy Choo Story: Power, Profits and the Pursuit of the Perfect Shoe for Christmas last year, I became an immediate admirer of the strength and self-belief displayed by Mellon. Spying a niche in the market for a luxurious accessories brand, the then accessories editor at British Vogue convinced a then unknown East End shoemaker to team up, start a ready-to-wear shoe company, and focus on growth. In the next fifteen years, Tamara Mellon became the face of the Jimmy Choo brand, from which she seemed inseparable. It was her "leadership and creative vision" (as tweeted by the Jimmy Choo label yesterday), that shaped her success at the helm of what is now one of the most celebrated and coveted shoe brands in the world. Her flair for communication and PR soon led to celebrity and Sex and the City endorsements, furthering Jimmy Choo's popularity still. Mellon, as always, argued that success was due to their product. Yet, whilst no one can dispute the craftsmanship and beauty of the 'choos' themselves, Tamara Mellon was ever-busy in the background.

Tamara Mellon's success has been rewarded in recent years. In October 2010, she received an OBE for services to the fashion industry. And, in January 2011, David Cameron appointed her a UK business ambassador. 

Tamara Mellon receives her OBE, October 2010

Deemed largely responsible for turning Jimmy Choo into a multi-million pound business, there is little doubt that Tamara Mellon will go on to achieve great success elsewhere. Although no reasons for her (or Schulman's departure) have been publicly declared, Reinhard Mieck, chief executive of Labelux, said to the FT: "Jimmy Choo is an outstanding brand with enormous growth potential and the ability to deliver material growth synergies across our group. With a successful transition behind them, we respect their wish to move on to other challenges." It will be fascinating to now observe their careers and the future of the Jimmy Choo brand.

*Check out my recent post, Jimmy Choo Icons at NET-A-PORTER*

Images: British Vogue


  1. thanks for the post..I was always inspired by powerful women on business..

  2. Thanks for your comment, City Girl! I don't visit people enough who took the time to visit my blog, and to leave a comment, so I want to thank you. I had read about this, too - and I'm also interested in seeing what becomes of the brand. I always thought it was strange that the person Jimmy Choo wasn't actually involved in designing it- and yet, Tamara wasn't the designer either... so who, I ask, is the real Jimmy Choo?

    (jill btw: streetstyle london)

  3. oh i was shocked when i read about this yesterday x


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