Tamara Mellon

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Tamara Mellon
Born (1967-07-07) 7 July 1967 (age 48)
London, England
Nationality British
Education Heathfield St Mary's School
Occupation Fashion designer
Website www.tamaramellon.com
Labels Tamara Mellon

Tamara Mellon, OBE (née Yeardye, born 7 July 1967) is the former chief creative officer and co-founder of Jimmy Choo, a luxury brand of shoes, handbags and accessories.[1] She stepped down from the brand in November 2011 after its acquisition by Labelux.[2]

In 2013, Mellon announced the creation of the Tamara Mellon brand, offering a range of shoes, handbags and accessories.[3] The brand launched in November 2013 with a group of retail partners in the US and Europe.[4]

Mellon resides in New York City and London with her daughter, Araminta "Minty" Mellon.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mellon was born Tamara Yeardye in London, on 7 July 1967. She is 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.[2] Mellon is the eldest of three siblings. Her current surname stems from the time when she was married to Matthew Mellon, an American businessman and member of the prominent Mellon family.[1]

In 1976, Mellon's family relocated to Beverly Hills, in a home next door to Nancy Sinatra.[2] Mellon alternated between summers in California and the UK. She attended two independent girls' schools in BerkshireBrigidine Convent School[5] and Heathfield St Mary's School—before attending finishing school in Switzerland at the now-defunct Institut Alpin Videmanette.[2]


Mellon began her career at Phyllis Walters Public Relations, Mirabella, and followed as accessories editor for British Vogue in 1990.

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, Mellon 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 Ltd 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 first Jimmy Choo store, on Motcombe Street in London, was followed by stores in New York, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. In April 2001, Jimmy Choo Ltd 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 Ltd, 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 Ltd. The company subsequently opened Jimmy Choo stores in many cities, 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 appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List, where she was ranked as the 751st richest person in the UK, with an estimated wealth of £99 million.[6] She was also ranked as the 64th richest woman in Britain.[7]

Public and political activities[edit]

Mellon is a member of the New Enterprise Council, a group of entrepreneurs who advise the Conservative Party (UK) on policies related to the needs of business.[8]

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".[9]

Mellon has served on the Board of Directors for Revlon since 2008.[10][11] She is also a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.[12]

Honours and awards[edit]

In the 2010 Birthday Honours, Mellon was appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the fashion industry.[13]

On 19 November 2014, Mellon was presented with the Fashion Pioneer Award at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards, held in New York City at the United Nations.[14]