Tamara Mellon adopting direct to customer model
Tamara Mellon is adopting a direct-to-consumer business model.
The British fashion designer and co-founder of Jimmy Choo launched her eponymous label in 2013 with a group of retail partners in the U.S. and Europe, offering a range of shoes, handbags and accessories. While the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, Mellon didn’t take long to pursue a new direction, starting with the hiring of Jill Layfield as Chief Executive Officer.
With plans to relaunch the brand in October (16), Mellon has revealed that the company will no longer hold wholesale accounts and will sell exclusively through the brand’s website.
“Three years ago, (when I launched my line), I did ‘buy now and wear now,’ but the industry wasn’t ready for it,” she told Footwear News. “I’m now doing direct to the consumer and delivering things monthly that you would want to wear in that season. No collections. I’m excited to deliver shoes to women in a way that they actually shop.”
Mellon, who is known for her strappy sandals and sexy stilettos, strongly believes that her business has a place in the luxury market, despite the difficult start. While former Backcountry.com boss Layfield doesn’t have a background in fashion in the conventional sense, Mellon is certain her acumen will prove critical in the future.
“Jill is not from a traditional fashion business…but she knows how to build a business online. That’s what I’m looking for,” she explained.
Mellon, 49, adds that the fundamentals of the company are strong, and in spite of the restructure, claims the firm did $8 million (£6.12 million) in revenue last year (15). And she’s confident her new model will be embraced by other fashion companies going forward.
“The customer gets to see something today and wear it tomorrow. This is how the next generation of luxury brands will be built,” she said.