||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
7 July 1967 |
|Education||Heathfield St Mary's School|
Tamara Mellon, OBE is the former Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Jimmy Choo, a luxury brand that offers designer shoes, handbags and a range of accessories. She stepped down from the brand in November 2011 after its acquisition by Labelux.
Mellon was born Tamara Yeardye in London, on 7 July 1967, the daughter of Tom Yeardye, a stunt double for Rock Hudson, successful entrepreneur and co-founder of the Vidal Sassoon salon chain, and Ann (Davis) Yeardye, a former Chanel model. She is the eldest of three siblings. Tamara's current surname stems from a brief marriage to Matthew Mellon, a majority shareholder in Jimmy Choo ltd. In 1976 Tamara's family relocated to Beverly Hills in a home next door to Nancy Sinatra. Mellon alternated between summers in California and the UK. She attended two independent girls' schools in Berkshire—Brigidine Convent School and Heathfield St Mary's School—before attending finishing school in Switzerland at the now-defunct Institut Alpin Videmanette.
Recognizing the potential for development of high-end designer accessories, Mellon approached bespoke shoe-maker Mr Jimmy Choo with the idea of launching a ready-to-wear shoe company. As co-founder of the Jimmy Choo Company, Tamara secured funding from her father for the creation of her business, and sourced factories in Italy. In addition, she set up an office in Italy to handle production, quality control and shipping. By 2001, Jimmy Choo had over 100 wholesale clients including Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, and the collections accounted for over 50% of the production of several of these factories.
The Motcombe Street store was followed by stores in New York, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. In April 2001, Jimmy Choo partnered with Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. Acquiring Mr Choo’s share of the ready to wear business, Equinox’s Chief Executive Robert Bensoussan became CEO of Jimmy Choo, introducing handbag and small leather goods collections. In November 2004, with the company valued at £101 million, Hicks Muse announced the majority acquisition of Jimmy Choo.
Jimmy Choo now has a total of 39 stores, including London (Sloane Street & New Bond Street), New York, Beverly Hills, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, Moscow, Milan and Hong Kong and is distributed by select stores worldwide. In 2007, Mellon made another appearance on the Sunday Times Rich List, where she is ranked as the 751st richest person in the UK, with an estimated wealth of £99 million. She is also ranked as the 64th richest woman in Britain.
Public and political activities
On 9 November 2010 she was named as a "global trade envoy for Britain" by the British Government. She will have a "roving brief to promote the country’s booming fashion industry overseas".
She has served on the Board of Directors for Revlon since 2008.
- Mellon, Tamara; William Patrick (2013). In My Shoes: A Memoir. New York: Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 9781591846161. OCLC 855783504.
- "Tamara Mellon".
- Bee-Shyuan Chang (26 October 2012). "Tamara Mellon's Next Step". The New York Times.
- Mulkerrins, Jane (14 April 2012). "Emotional ties with Entrepreneur and shoe designer Tamara Mellon". Daily Mail (London).
- "Rich List search" timesonline.co.uk.
- "Women's rich list". timesonline.co.uk
- The London Gazette: . 12 June 2010.
- Chapman, James (9 November 2010). "Jimmy Choo queen Tamara Mellon is unveiled as Britain's new £100m trade envoy". Daily Mail (London).
- "Tamara Mellon". Forbes.
- Elton John AIDS Foundation patrons
- Tamara Mellon at the Fashion Model Directory
- Freeman, Hadley. "The Guardian profile: Tamara Mellon", The Guardian, 5 November 2004
- BBC news
- How Jimmy Choo 'lost' his name 
- Sandra's choice