In 1996 at just 27, Tamara Mellon saw an opportunity when, as an accessories editor at Vogue, she saw promise in an East London Malaysian shoemaker named Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat.
Working by himself in his shop, Choo's high-quality handmade women's shoes caught the attention of Princess Diana, and his notoriety grew. Sensing that Choo could produce more shoes faster by contracting with Italian factories, Mellon suggested a partnership, and the young Choo agreed.
Before long the fashion footwear was being referenced on hit shows like Sex and the City and the Sopranos and paraded up and down the red carpet. In 2014 Jimmy Choo became the first luxury shoe company to go public, and three years later Michael Kors bought the luxury shoe company for $1.2 billion.
Now Mellon is ahead of the curve once again, breaking all the rules of luxury fashion by abandoning seasonal collections and reimagining the shoe industry as an online, direct-to-consumer retailer that produces styles continuously — her namesake Tamara Mellon line features four to six new seasonless styles every month — rather than abiding by the traditional fashion calendar.