Shoe designer Tamara Mellon on luxury and her latest collaboration with stylist Karla Welch
Learn more about Tamara Mellon 's eponymous brand, from her recent collaboration with Hollywood stylist, Karla Welch to her very own traveling shoe closet.
Of course, Tamara is famous for her heels, including devilishly high sandals, and timeless patent pumps, as well as boots, designed to be well-and-truly shown off. Unsurprisingly, there is a huge customer craving for her aesthetic, with a target market that appeals to women from the ages of 25 to 65, but whatever the age, there’s a common appreciation for style and quality.
And the highs keep on coming as she’s recently collaborated with leading Hollywood stylist, Karla Welch on a limited edition capsule collection, and she even has her very own traveling retail outlet, in the form of the TM Mobile Shoe Closet that’s currently touring America. This footwear aficionado talks luxury, her first pair of cowboy boots, and her direct-to-consumer business model.
Felicity Carter: What was your first memory of shoes? Tamara Mellon: When I was 7 years old, I was on a school trip in Paris and saw a pair of cowboy boots in a store window as I was walking by. I immediately fell in love with them and was not leaving without a pair to bring home. I insisted so much that the nuns who were chaperoning the trip graciously loaned me money to purchase until I got home to pay them back. You can say my love of shoes and persistency started at an early age.
Tamara Mellon campaignTamara MellonFC: Who is the Tamara Mellon customer? TM: The TM customer loves and appreciates luxury, design and quality. We don’t have a specific age demo as it ranges from 25- 65 years old, but it’s more about her attitude towards fashion and love for quality that sets her apart. Besides this, we know our customer is career-drive, health-conscious and supports social issues that matter to her with her wallet by shopping with like-minded brands.
Tamara Mellon campaignTamara MellonFC: What is luxury to you?TM: I think luxury is a word that is abused by many brands today. I see people claim that their product is luxury, but can’t back it up. To me, a luxury product is defined by quality and the people who are making it. That’s why our shoes and handbags are made in the best Italian factories that have been family-run for many generations, showing our commitment to providing quality products.
Tamara Mellon campaignTamara MellonFC: Tell us about the collaboration collection with Karla, and how it came about...TM: Karla has been a long-time supporter of my brand and she’s a visionary whose work I’ve always admired. Not only does she have impeccable taste, Karla is also a changemaker. She uses her platform to make positive differences in the world wherever she can.
Tamara Mellon campaignTamara MellonThis collaboration felt like a natural tie and we wanted to design something with real meaning behind it with a call to action. We designed 3 shoes each to have a blend of form and function. The capsule includes a creeper, mid-calf combat boot and over the knee high pull on sock boot.
Tamara Mellon campaignTamara MellonFC: Currently, which is your favorite piece from the range and how do you style them? TM: My top 3 favorite pieces are Legacy, London Calling and No Regrets (launching soon). The way I’m dressing and shopping right now is either for function or pure joy, which these three fall into. London Calling is my go-to functional boot as it’s a lug sole lace up combat boot that can be worn with skirts or a masculine suit.Read more: Forbes »
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