With her up-and-coming fashion cycle-rebelling lifestyle brand, Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon has had one of fashion’s most intriguing career trajectories, and we’re always excited to hear more about it.
Most recently, she talked to the Today Show‘s Jenna Bush Hager and, in the juicy interview, makes some not-so-laudatory remarks about former colleague Jimmy Choo—namely that he didn’t design anything. Ever.
Not that he just sat around collecting checks while Carrie Bradshaw paraded around in stilettos bearing his name.
“The original idea was for Jimmy to design the collection, and I would run the operations of the business. But it soon became very clear that Jimmy’s skill was in making shoes. He’s a cobbler.”
Mellon added that she didn’t get a single sketch from him. “Not one,” she emphasized.
When you consider all the designers working today and the range of skill sets they may or may not have, it’s not all that shocking. In fact, it’s almost refreshing to think of someone more dedicated to their craft than design, especially when things seem to be going in the opposite direction these days.
Thus, Mellon says she became the de facto designer, and goes on to describe several other setbacks that plagued her personal life and career, including the death of her father, followed by a divorce, followed by a “hostile takeover” of her company (by Labelux). Of course this was all after her drug and alcohol dependencies caused her to lose her job at British Vogue.
“One glass of wine for me turned into 6 o’clock in the morning and calling the coke dealer and then realizing, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to be at work in three hours,’” she recounted. She then emerged from rehab with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Mellon’s is a story of survival (at least the way she’s playing it) and who doesn’t love one of those? It’s hard not to root for her new namesake business to succeed. Watch the full interview below.