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Tamara Mellon files lawsuit against Jimmy Choo

Tamara Mellon files lawsuit against Jimmy Choo

Tamara Mellon has filed a lawsuit against Jimmy Choo alleging the label boycotted her new venture.

The British fashion designer co-founded the luxury footwear company in 1996, and it quickly became an A-list favourite, counting Jennifer Lopez, Diane Kruger and the Duchess of Cambridge as fans.

Mellon stepped down from Jimmy Choo in 2011 after its acquisition by Labelux, and two years later launched her eponymous line with a group of retail partners in the U.S. and Europe, offering a range of shoes, handbags and accessories. However, Mellon’s new venture has had a rocky start, with her filing for bankruptcy protection last December (15) while undergoing a re-organisation strategy.

In a new twist, Mellon filed a lawsuit against Jimmy Choo in the New York State Supreme Court on Thursday (08Sep16), alleging that the brand initiated a boycott against her among Italian factory producers when she was about to start her new label.

According to Bloomberg, Mellon states in the complaint that the London-based company threatened manufacturers with the loss of Jimmy Choo business if they worked with her or anyone affiliated with her. She claims this meant shoemakers refused to do business with her, causing her to file for bankruptcy, and lose millions of dollars in the process.

In the court documents, Mellon also said that her contract with Jimmy Choo included a one year non-compete clause, but after that period ended she faced no other restrictions.

Jimmy Choo, who held a bash celebrating its 20th anniversary during New York Fashion Week on Thursday night, has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Last month (Aug16), Mellon, 49, confirmed her intent to relaunch her line in October (16).

With Jill Layfield appointed as Chief Executive Officer, the company plans to adopt a direct to consumer model, by no longer holding wholesale accounts and selling exclusively online.

“I’m now doing direct to the consumer and delivering things monthly that you would want to wear in that season,” she told Footwear News. “No collections. I’m excited to deliver shoes to women in a way that they actually shop.”

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