"As a woman designing for women, I feel their pain literally on a daily basis," says Mellon. "If you think about it, most shoe designers are men, so they don't really know what it feels like. So I think a lot of shoes are designed for shelf appeal, without actually knowing how women feel in them. So what I do, is I do all the fit trials myself."
She says after trying on all the shoes she makes technical tweaks herself, to make the designs more comfortable and ensure customers can wear them all day.
Mellon runs the company in a very different way than she ran Jimmy Choo, which she says was more hierarchical. She brought in Jill Layfield, former CEO of outdoor retailer Backcountry, to serve as CEO. And to make all of her employees feel invested — literally — the company issues shares to everyone.
"I decided I wanted a very different culture this time," says Mellon. "I wanted a culture that was very supportive, that was female-led. We sit all open-plan, which I never used to do at Jimmy Choo. I would sit in the corner office with two assistants outside like guard dogs, and that doesn't happen anymore. I sit with everybody on the floor and we listen to everybody."