Jimmy Choo Ltd co-founder Tamara Mellon recently launched her autobiography, In Her Shoes, and in it claimed that Dato’ Jimmy Choo has never designed a single shoe by himself!
The multimillionaire businesswoman, who was the accessories editor at British Vogue for five years, said, “The original idea was for Jimmy to design the collection, and I would run the operations side of the business”.
Mellon takes it another step further in her accusation by insulting his skills as a shoemaker: “It soon became very clear that Jimmy’s skill was in making shoes. He’s a cobbler”.
When “her” creations turned into household names overnight thanks to its mention on Sex and the City, Mellon was bitter that Choo got all the recognition, and not her. In her memoir, she even portrays Choo as being extremely superstitious: “Jimmy’s only concern was to have a feng shui master bless the enterprise,” she claims when they opened a store in Knightsbridge.
However, a lot of people were taken aback by Mellon’s move to tarnish the Jimmy Choo brand. Robert Bensoussan, chief executive and board member at Jimmy Choo Ltd told businessweek.com that Mellon is “an obstructive, pain-in-the*ss employee”.
“She always wanted something bigger for herself, she wants to be a celebrity, another Tom Ford. But instead, she’s tarnishing the Jimmy Choo story. I wonder if she’s tarnishing herself, too … It’s not very elegant.”
On an episode of Malaysian talk show, Bella, Dato’ Jimmy Choo responded to Mellon’s accusation: “If I can’t design shoes, I won’t be in the industry for 25 years.”
A columnist for The Star, June Wong, who is also an old friend of Jimmy Choo, said that the shoemaker has no intentions of reading Mellon’s book, saying “it’s the same old story from her”.