Tamara Mellon

No, that is not a type in the title. A new paper recently landed on my desk from a New York consultancy called Open Mind Strategy that introduces what may be the best acronym I’ve ever heard for one of the biggest trends driving fashion/luxury right now: IWWIWWIWI – aka “”I want what I want when I want it.” It’s certainly the longest. Still, get comfortable saying it ten times fast, because I’m telling you: this is the wave of the future.  Read more

Today, downtown at the Pace Gallery, Tamara Mellon finally unveiled her new brand – not mention plans for the business, which is based on a model that that rejects a lot of the basic conventions of the fashion industry. It tosses, for example, the whole idea of seasons out of window, as well as shows.
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I had a very illuminating chat yesterday with Jimmy Choo chief executive Pierre Denis. He’s been in the job not quite a year now (previously he was ceo of John Galliano, so you can understand the job change), and has started to articulate the brand’s story going forward. Put simply: it’s history, people. Read more

What do you do when you are stuck in a non-compete for a year? Write a memoir, which is in part a tell-all about your former employer! Such, anyway, seems the approach of Tamara Mellon, who left Jimmy Choo, the shoe brand she built into a global luxury powerhouse after it was sold to Labelux, and whose book, In My Shoes, is slated to appear on October 1. It seems to me the timing is particularly canny. Read more

The other day I got a nice email informing me that Marigay McKee, formerly Harrods’ Fashion & Beauty director, had been promoted to “Chief Merchant Officer,” a relatively new title in the luxury world as far as I can tell (and one not to be confused with that other CMO, chief marketing officer), but one that, I think, reflects not just a titular promotion, but a systemic change in industry thinking.  Read more

Not so long ago I spoke to Tamara Mellon about Labelux, the German luxury group that is privately owned by the reclusive Reimann family, and the fact they had bought her company, Jimmy Choo, from TowerBrook private equity. She was thrilled. And yet, here we are, a mere half year later, and Ms Mellon and her CEO, Josh Schulman, have both resigned. What happened?

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Luxury leaves 2010 on a high note. Most analysts see good things for 2011 – the folks at HSBC, noting the positive performance of watches and jewellery last month, even say: “It is hard to find industries with better fundamental prospects than luxury for 2011.”

Indeed, post-end-of-year auction on December 14, Christie’s reports they had “a record-breaking year for fine and rare watches” with an estimated “$91.2m in total sales – the highest annual total ever achieved for watches.” Meanwhile, Tom Murry, ceo of Calvin Klein, told me they were having a very good Christmas season, and plan to open double-digit stores next year, and Tamara Mellon, chief creative officer of Jimmy Choo, has world domination in mind, and plans to expand into ready-to-wear, watches, and jewellery, after launching mens’ shoes. Read more

Clothes issues can make common cause for us all. How else to interpret The Economist’s sudden interest in (and defense of) the Scottish Fair Isle sweater? The mag has taken up the cause of the Shetland knitters, whose signature snowflake designs have been co-opted — horrors! — by the high fashion industry without proper accreditation.  Read more

Tonight, Tamara Mellon is being honoured by the Elton John Foundation at their 9th annual “Enduring Vision” benefit, for having raised $3.5 million for the charity. It’s a big deal. Still, as much as I admire Ms Mellon’s accomplishment, as I mull over her appearance this evening and consider the piece in today’s FT about the fact women have made surprisingly few incursions into contemporary boardrooms, I can’t help thinking that in many ways, her real pioneering achievement has to do less with monies raised (where she’s successful, but not singular) and more to do with, well, appearance. Specifically, challenging accepted ideas of how a female member of the c-suite needs to appear.  Read more