In My Shoes by Tamara Mellon
14th Nov 2013
Written in part because fashion tycoon Tamara Mellon wants to help other women in business In My Shoes offers insight into both the rollercoaster personal life of this glamorous, hugely successful businesswoman, and into the lessons she learnt on her way to the top.
For Books’ Sake is delighted to confirm that as well as being a kick-ass conversationalist (the book is excellently ghosted by William Patrick, whom Mellon thanks effusively in the acknowledgements for “really capturing my voice”), Ms. Mellon’s life is every bit as dramatic as those of the Danielle Steel heroines she compares herself to throughout the text. In terms of a memoir, this is no bad thing.
The memoirs of other less well-connected and glamorous businesswomen – particularly those from functional families – would make for a far less buzzy read. Mellon really does have every glamorous base covered. No wonder she chose Liz Hurley as God-mother to her only daughter, Araminta. Who else could really claim to understand almost everything she’s been through? The memoirs of other less well-connected and glamorous businesswomen – particularly those from functional families – would make for a far less buzzy read.
From a jealous, alcoholic, former-Chanel-model mother to a loving mentoring father to stints in boarding school, finishing school, rehab and British Vogue, to marriage and divorce from the good-looking, bi-polar scion of an American banking dynasty and relationships with actors, moguls and the son of Dame Edna Everage, Mellon really does have every glamorous base covered.
No wonder she chose Liz Hurley as godmother to her only daughter, Araminta. Who else could really claim to understand almost everything she’s been through?
And that’s before we even credit her for founding the luxury accessories brand Jimmy Choo (which initially sold only shoes but later expanded into bags, sunglasses and perfume).
Had Tamara Mellon not decided to step down from her company in late 2011, following years of corporate drama in which she was often told that a “nice girl like [her]” should “shut up and be decorative” this memoir may never have appeared.
Legally obliged to take a “non-compete” year off from fashion, Tamara Mellon turned her mind to processing the drama of her past, eventually agreeing to meet with a publisher who persuaded her to divulge it, which is she does with frankness and the kind of detail that is surprising in a time when so many public figures use an “official memoir” as a chance to exercise some all-too-bland PR spin.
Mellon has not led the kind of life or career that many of us can identify with. She is, after all, a millionaire entrepreneur whose self-made millionaire father, Tommy Yeardye, funded the venture that would make her as fabulously wealthy as she has always been glamorous.
But it’s inspiring none-the-less, with a heroine who overcomes drug addiction, broken hearts, abuse (courtesy of her mother), attempts at industrial sabotage and, ultimately, her own self-doubt.