Little more than two years after it launched, Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon's namesake womenswear line voluntarily filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. This doesn't mean it's going the way of the dinosaurs, though. In fact, it's quite the opposite: Chapter 11 allows businesses to restructure according to a court-approved plan so that they can stay alive.
In Tamara Mellon's case, that plan involves raising extra funding from New Enterprise Associates, a private equity firm that's also invested in start-ups like GlamSquad and Jet. Though it currently sells to stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks and Scoop, the brand writes in its bankruptcy filing that its goal is to move away from working with "traditional retailers" and instead focus its efforts on selling directly to consumers through its own site and stores — a model it believes is better suited to its practice of releasing new collections in the season during which they're meant to be worn. (You know, unlike the rest of the industry, which shows spring in September.) But it needs more capital to accomplish that.
If Tamara Mellon's plan gets approved, it's hoping to exit Chapter 11 in under 60 days, with no break in operations.