Mellon is at the heart and sole of Jimmy Choo

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011, 11:10 AM IST

New York: Jimmy Choo`s heart and soul — and sole, too — belongs to a woman. Tamara Mellon is growing the luxury brand that has built its reputation on towering high heels into a full-fledged fashion house.

She works on it every single day, she says, and she lives it, too.

She is jet-setter, with her stylish leather luggage (and the wet wipes tucked in her weekender — as she`s also a bit of a germophobe); she is business executive, recently being named a business ambassador by British Prime Minister David Cameron; she`s eager creative sponge, one season becoming an expert on the life and times of Blondie`s Deborah Harry, who was her inspiration; and she`s single mother, who wears Uggs or Wellies, depending on the weather, to the park to play with her 8-year-old daughter.

However, as a can-do person, Mellon tackled that whole comfort-mom wardrobe thing head-on, working with both Uggs and Hunter to develop Jimmy Choo-cross branded products that would meet her own style standards.

Her shoes, wardrobe, hair and makeup each time she walks out the door can`t be an afterthought, says Mellon. She`s wearing a leopard-print sheath and pointy-toe patent pumps on this day for an interview in a plush private room at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship on Fifth Avenue before a public appearance to promote the new Choo fragrance.

"I do have to think about how I look — and it`s really in you or it isn`t if you care — but I have to be the brand," she says. It`s not all black tie and red carpet, mind you, she says, although those are the photos people will see. But when she goes to the office, the outfit will still be chic, fashion-forward and "on the right side of sexy" — complemented with her biker boots.

Anamaria Wilson, fashion news director for Harper`s Bazaar, says Mellon`s stamp is all over every piece. "The collection is chic and refined, but with a sexy sensibility — much like Tamara herself."

If she wouldn`t wear something, there`s really no point in offering it to other women, right? Mellon wonders aloud. "If you think you can rely on some sort of science for all this, you will make a mistake. Fashion is about emotion. It`s about, `What do I want?` and `What do women want?`"

Bureau Report