Since the moment this summer that Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon announced she was launching her own line, fashionphiles have waited with bated breath. Not only because of Mellon's stellar taste and penchant for sophisticated playfulness, but also because — as she told The Daily Beast — of her desire to shake up the current business model used to sell clothes.
“Most fashion businesses look at e-commerce in the wrong way,” she told the online news outlet in September. “They model it as one store, thinking it should be 10 percent of the business. I’m considering online as a global chain, like having a prime location in every city. Each major city should do the same volume as a store.”
And as of this week, a selection of Mellon's goods are now officially available on London-based luxury e-commerce giant Net-a-Porter.
Her strategy also includes a plan to sell in-season clothes (you know, if a coat is shown on a runway in September then shoppers can actually buy said coat in September) that will trickle to her e-commerce site slowly (think 10 new looks a month) rather than the now standard lump-sum saturation of goods.
IN HER CHOOS, ER, MELLONS: Sophistication abounds in Tamara Mellon's new namesake line, which is now officially available for sale on net-a-porter.com
Innovations aside, Mellon's line is good. Leather skirts are fringed, silk blouses puff in all the right places and suiting is sophisticated and crisp. With the exception of a smattering of leopard pieces, the color palette is neutral and silhouettes are fairly simple, with the right mix of casual "cool girl" slouch and polished London society leader. While not exactly as effortless as L.A.'s usual off-duty vibe, it's nice to see simple clothes that do, in fact, make it OK to look like they try.
In addition to ready-to-wear, Mellon is of course selling what she historically sells best — accessories‚ which here include a $1,995 leather legging/boot hybrid called "Sweet Revenge" that, we speculate, points toward resentment of her former employer. (In Mellon's tell-all autobiography, In My Shoes, released in October, she makes claims against Choo and its former executives, despite snagging a reported $135 million payday upon leaving in 2011.)
Price tags aren't completely insane (as far as these types of things go, anyway), with patent leather pumps at $495 and dresses under a grand.
Time will tell if Mellon has a Tory Burch-size lifestyle hit on her hands. But if anyone can do it, we'd bet that this is one business worth watching.