What Women Want: Interview with Tamara Mellon, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the Namesake Brand
More than just creating beautiful shoes, Tamara Mellon, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of the namesake brand, wanted to create a platform for women to support one another.
CREDIT: Courtesy Company
After successfully co-founding Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of her namesake brand, is starting again with a new line of luxury shoes. This time she's doing things differently, setting out to change the luxury footwear game - TAMARA MELLON is women-led, direct-to-consumer, and e-commerce first.
LM: Let's start by giving me a snapshot of you and the company.
TM: We're a startup, so by nature we all wear many different hats. However, my main responsibilities are as co-founder and Chief Creative Officer. That means I work closely with our other co-founder and CEO, Jill Layfield, to run the business, and our Chief Design Officer, Tania Spinelli, to design all of the shoes and guide any other creative.
LM: Tell me about your origin story. Why did you start this company?
TM: I started this company to start a revolution. I know that sounds a bit heavy-handed, but I truly believe it. More than create beautiful shoes, I wanted to create a platform to speak out on the issues women care about, and to create a community of women that support one another.
LM: What has been your favorite part of creating this line?
TM: My favorite part is coming to the office each day and getting to collaborate with women in all different aspects of their lives and careers. We all have something different to learn from one another. I also love reading comments and feedback from our followers and customers, negative or positive, to better offer exactly what women want. I read every single one!
LM: The story on your website says you're doing things differently now. What are some of the things you learned from your days at Jimmy Choo?
TM: The past always informs the present, and I choose to live in the now. I'm proud to say that we're female-led, direct-to-consumer, and e-commerce first. That's a completely new model in the luxury shoe industry, believe it or not.
LM: What would you say makes TAMARA MELLON different than other shoe brands available today?
TM: I like to think that we understand what women need, and what they want, better than any other business. That's because we are women, but we also communicate with our customers whenever possible. I always want this brand to be a two-way conversation.
LM: What brands are you currently obsessed with?
TM: I'll always be loyal to vintage. There are some great vintage boutiques in L.A. that I visit with my team regularly for inspiration. And yes, pick up a thing to two for myself, when I can't resist.
LM: What is your take on the future of TAMARA MELLON? What's next?
TM: We are constantly learning and refining. You're never going to be perfect, but I think it's what you learn from your mistakes, and how you apply that to the future, that builds the foundation of a strong business.
Starting over never looked so good.
BY Thomas Koulopoulos