Tamara Mellon on Launching Her Own Line & Creating a Big Fashion Business

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Tamara Mellon, co-founder of Jimmy Choo, recently decided to launch her own namesake collection, beginning from the ground up again on her own. She has commented that working on the brand new label was a "fun" experience but there were also some difficulties along the way because she decided not to observe traditional seasons: "For me, it’s been so much fun to start something from scratch again. It’s been more heavy lifting than I thought, I suppose. Maybe some of the challenges [were] with the business model. [Consumers today] live in a different world, and so with my business, I didn’t want to do seasons... That’s been a challenge, because I started the first year with wholesale."

Tamara adds that those who do go in to the fashion business need to be passionate and believe their work will pay off in the long run, even if they don't immediately see benefit. She explains that those who love what they're doing are more interested in the bigger picture because they're willing to stick it out: "When you’re building a business that’s your own, you look at it for the long term. You will take risk in certain areas that may not pay off in the next two years, but you know will pay off in the future. The funds that I worked with [at Jimmy Choo] wanted to come in and out within two, three years. They were only focused on the short-term success and increasing it in any way they can, which could be underpaying staff, cutting costs and using lower-quality components to increase profit margins. That’s not the way a founder thinks.”

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