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Last week, Lucky magazine hosted its biannual fashion and beauty blogger conference (aka Lucky FABB) at its NYC, Condé Nast headquarters. And for her first conference as editor-in-chief, Eva Chen launched a new series interviewing founders of fashion-related companies. We sat in on Tamara Mellon's session with Lucky fashion features editor Hayley Phelan to hear about her future plans since she sold her first company Jimmy Choo in 2011. With her 1-year non-compete clause over and done months ago, Mellon's new, eponymous brand will launch online in the next few weeks.
Perhaps partly inspired by her ongoing romantic relationship with Hollywood-turned-Silicon-Valley-deal-guru Michael Ovitz (described to Fortune magazine as "highly aggressive" and "highly disruptive") but mostly due to her business savvy, Mellon's new model for fashion retail revolves around her "buy now, wear now" theory. Mellon pegs the fashion business as a "dinosaur" in her new book, writing:
A fashion house will have a runway show, and the images appear online that same day, but the actual product doesn't get into the store until six months later. By that point the merchandise is overexposed, and it seems old and tired. The PR departments have sent it out to celebrities and it's been seen everywhere so the customer thinks, "I don't want to wear that dress. Why should I be the last person to this party?"
Rather than releasing seasonal collections, Mellon's new line will sell in real time with the featured items immediately available for purchase.
Mellon's model relies heavily on tech and ecommerce, and when we asked her about plans in SF, she immediately replied that she loves our city for the innovation happening here, and and that she'll certainly open an SF storefront—though that might be up to 3 years from now. Her first few stores will be in the UK (her home country although she keeps residence in NYC). Other plans include full, head-to-toe collections (note: those amazing boot leggings she wore at the conference will be available) and, eventually, will also include a home line (very happy news for all of us who drooled over her apartment decor in Harper's Bazaar). So a very big welcome back to the fashion game, Ms. Mellon. We're excited to see this plan unfold.
· Tamara Mellon [Official Site]
· In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon [Amazon]