Jimmy Choo Went from a Cobbler’s Name to Brand Name Shoe Empire


Theme:–The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (Old-School Flava)

Most women seem to love one thing. Besides a fashionable purse it’s a hot-stepping pair of shoes. Some seem to drool when talking about the days of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos who had a walk-in closet just for shoes. Maybe it’s how Jimmy Choo went from a cobbler’s name to shoe empire.

Things came together as a partnership between Jimmy Choo (the cobbler) and Tamara Mellon (the dreamer). Mellon lost her job at British Vogue and decided to start her own business. She reached out to Choo who would build the shoes based on her designs. The shoes became popular on “Sex in the City.”

Sure, it might have been a long-shot but Mellon had an idea. So she acted on the idea from a place deep in her gut where it became her dream. She connected with Choo who was originally supposed to be the main designer. But Mellon took the lead with the vision for the product line and business operations.

She says the business was built around fears, family and feet. Her success was a response to fears that became masked by drug addiction. Her determination was a response to the challenges of a difficult relationship with her mother. Her passion for footwear comes from having had to step “in her own shoes.”

Choo was eventually bought-out of the business. Mellon later stepped down from the brand. Now she’s released her own shoe line with her own name on the label. She’s gone from dream to vision to reality a second time. So even with mayday in the job market there’s still room for some breakthrough shine.

tamara-mellon (jimmy choo)

The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (New-School Flava)

Most women love one thing. Besides a nice purse, a piece of bling. But many prefer hot shoes. Spending money to cure the blues. Some drool about Imelda Marcos’ closet. As Former Philippines First Lady shoes was her nugget. Maybe Jimmy Choo a one-time hire. From cobbler to name brand shoe empire.

Things came together in partnership. Choo as cobbler, Tamara Mellon the dream friendship. Mellon lost her job at British Vogue. Started a business in going rogue. Reached out to Choo for his skills. While she would focus on paying the bills. “Sex in the City” gave them looks. As money began to flow in the books.

Sure might have been a risk among the long-shots. But Choo was used to building shoes for some big-shots. Mellon placed the idea deep in her gut. Which became the dream that took her out a rut. Mellon thought Choo would be the main designer. But later saw bigger vision while putting on eye-liner.

Says the biz was built around fears. With family and feet over the years. Success a response to beating drug addiction. Determination a response to less motherly affection. Her passion takes footwear business from startup to explosion. Relationships helped her rise above. To let her dreams fly like a dove.

Choo eventually bought out for cash. Mellon later leaves business in a dash. Having taken shoes from dream to vision. A second time around was a proven decision. Now branding her own style in shoe line. Her own name on the label makes it fine. With job market mayday still room for some breakthrough shine.

Tip: Upping your game means turning an idea or gut feeling into something that gives you room to shine.

Talkback: How do you think Choo and Mellon feel in having their names on brands they helped build?

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