Tamara Mellon, former Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Jimmy Choo, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 business protection from her creditors.
Mellon partnered with Jimmy Choo in 1996, opening the first Jimmy Choo store in Knightsbridge. Over the following years both made generous returns for a succession of private equity-owners as well as their own fortunes. But as Mellon tells it in her auto-biography In My Shoes, she felt exploited by those private equity investors who funded expansion, and unappreciated by executives.
In May 2011 Jimmy Choo was sold to Swiss private equity firm Labelux, its fourth owner. 3 months later Mellon resigned from her position as Chief Creative Officer.
After a two and a half year hiatus Mellon launched her eponymous ready-to-wear and footwear label, coinciding with the release of her book. She strategically gave interviews to various publications that implied both ventures were an act of ‘sweet revenge’ – the name she gave to one of the first pair of boots she designed for the Tamara Mellon brand.
According to WWD, Mellon plans to exit Chapter 11 in 60 days and form a new company that will own trademarks currently belonging to Tamara Mellon LLC.
"We will use this brief period of reorganisation so we can position ourselves to take advantage of our new growth strategy and ensure the long term vibrancy of our brand," Mellon said in a statement. "We expect that we will emerge from this stronger than ever in 60 days or less, and all of us at Tamara Mellon look forward to pursuing our passion long into the future."
The filing reports that the company holds assets of between $1m and $10m and has around 100- and 199 creditors who are owed anything from $1m and $10m. The reorganisation plan, which has yet to be approved by the court, means that Mellon can continue to trade during the 60 days without the need to inflict redundancy on any employees.