Both the memoir and her line have come to fruition since she left Jimmy Choo in 2011. “I thought, I can either stay put for five more years," she says of her decision to leave the brand she spearheaded since 1996, "or risk starting again.”
Leave she did, from London to New York. “My daughter’s father [Mellon’s ex-husband, American scion Matthew Mellon, with whom she remains good friends] had moved to Manhattan, so that was a big motivation," she says of her decision to relocate. "I wanted Minty [her daughter, now 11] to grow up around her dad. I think that’s so important for girls.”
It was in New York she hunkered down during a year-long, non-compete agreement (part of her exit deal with Jimmy Choo.) It wasn’t long before Mellon was dreaming up her next venture. The Tamara Mellon capsule collection comprises the easy, sexy pieces Mellon herself favors: cashmere tees, pencil skirts, leopard-print trenches and sleek accessories.
"It was good to take a break
“I wanted to do a SEASONLESS collection. I don’t know any WOMAN who wants to buy a coat in July”
because it gave me time to really think," she says. "That’s when it hit me: I wanted to do a seasonless collection." Rather than showing at fashion week, the line operates on a "buy now, wear now" basis, adding new items each month. "I don’t know any woman who wants to buy a coat in July," she observes. "I took a poll of 50 women I respect and asked them if they would rather buy a coat in October. The answer was a resounding, ‘Yes, please!’"
Mellon lights up when talking about her collection; it’s clear that fashion and business are her twin passions. They’re also in her blood: her mother, Ann Yeardye, was a Chanel model, and her father, Tom Yeardye, co-founded the Vidal Sassoon chain of salons. Mellon started out selling T-shirts in
Mellon’s sleek style – seen here at the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund, 2013 (above) and the Costume Institute Gala (right), 2013 – is mirrored in her new collection
look for an event at the Connaught in London, 2013
Top by Rick Owens; skirt by Tamara Mellon
All redcarpet images: Getty Images