Mellon began her career at Phyllis Walters Public Relations, Mirabella, and followed as accessories editor for British Vogue in 1990. Recognizing the potential for development of high-end designer accessories, Mellon approached bespoke shoe-maker Mr Jimmy Choo with the idea of launching a ready-to-wear shoe company. As founder of the Jimmy Choo Company, Tamara secured funding for the creation of her business, and sourced factories in Italy. In addition, she set up an office in Italy to handle production, quality control and shipping.
By 2001, Jimmy Choo had over 100 wholesale clients including Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Saks Fifth Avenue. The design collaboration between Tamara and creative director, Sandra Choi led to an immediate demand from other top stores. The Motcombe Street store was followed by stores in New York, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. In April 2001, the expansion of Jimmy Choo took a step forward with the announcement of a new partnership with Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. This transaction enabled Jimmy Choo to achieve outstanding results, with the introduction of handbag and small leather goods collections.
In November 2004, with the company valued at £101 million, Hicks Muse announced the majority acquisition of Jimmy Choo — yet another significant move for the future development of the company.
Jimmy Choo shoes have been sung about by starlets such as Beyonce Knowles and the shoes are well-known as the shoes of choice for Hollywood red carpet events. Mellon has the worlds largest collection of Jimmy Choo’s to the value of $500,000.
From the first boutique opened in London’s Knightsbridge in 1996, Jimmy Choo now has a total of 39 stores including London, New York, Beverly Hills, Milan and Hong Kong and is distributed by select stores worldwide. The brand continues to have strong ambitions and plans to open a total of 50 stores worldwide by 2008. In 2007, Mellon made another appearance on the Sunday Times Rich List where she is ranked as the 751st richest person in the U.K with an estimated wealth of £99 million. She is also ranked as the 64th richest woman in Britain. Read the full story in the Towering World of Jimmy Choo. A great read about behind the scenes in the fashion industry.