Tamara Mellon, who co-founded Jimmy Choo and exited in 2011 with a reported 135 million dollar payout, was among the speakers at Cannes Lions this year. “Whether it was getting fired from Vogue, going to rehab or the Jimmy Choo equity deal, people empathize with you when you’re being honest,” Ms Mellon noted.
After her exit from Jimmy Choo, she created her own brand in 2013, went into bankruptcy two years later and has re-launched a new company. Speaking about the journey, Ms Mellon says, I co-founded Jimmy Choo in 1996 and 20 years later, I’m still obsessed with shoes but not the traditional way of doing things. So I’m starting over. This is my reboot (pun intended). I’m redefining luxury and doing what I do best: designing shoes and breaking rules,” she said.
When it comes to making comebacks, Ms Mellon says one can recover, but “it depends on what it is”. She believes people can address business issues, and recover from any challenges they would have faced. “You can always turn that around. The way you come back, in my opinion is, don’t try and hide what you did. You have to take responsibility, you have to be honest,” she said.
Ms Mellon shared her experiences, both the past and present versions of her businesses, during the session.
“We’re going to talk about fashion’s new business models, the new customer, and how we’re marketing to them. How fashion is using technology now is really interesting. It’s not how traditional brands were built, and it’s not how I built Jimmy Choo. What we do now, everything is influenced by technology. But unlike other industries, you have to build a tech company that’s also a consumer company that doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of creativity. That’s a unique position,” she explained.
As Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity takes steps to feature a more gender-balanced and less insular agenda, the fashion and beauty brands are moving to the forefront. Several sessions this year hence celebrated women leaders, actively moving the conversation to ‘here are the women’, from ‘where are the women’ in leadership positions.