Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon may be a trailblazer in the fashion industry, but that doesn't mean she hasn't dealt with her own share of challenges during her career.
Speaking at the Cannes Lions communications and advertising festival, the British designer looked back at her time in the fashion world, describing how she and the businesses she has been involved with developed.
"We're living in an age now where there's a huge culture shift and I think everybody is becoming much more transparent," Mellon told CNBC's Tania Bryer on Tuesday.
"People want authentic stories, they don't want things that are glossed over or that just look pretty on the outside. Brands today really cannot be silent anymore. We have to have an authentic voice."
In 1996, Mellon co-founded Jimmy Choo, one of Britain's most renowned luxury shoes and accessories brands. Despite her status as one of the heads of such a prominent brand, Mellon faced her troubles — including fighting to be paid equally.
On Tuesday, Mellon reiterated what she said on Equal Pay Day, about how she did three private equity deals with Jimmy Choo and went onto discover that the male CEOs received double the sweat equity that she did. Sweat equity describes the contribution a businessperson puts into a project in the shape of effort and labor.
"Obviously, I had bought shares in the business that had nothing to do with my effort or value, compared to them, and they actually ended up getting double what I did," Mellon said.