The rewards of failure. Tamara Mellon, the woman who turned Jimmy Choo into a footwear phenomenon, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In case you don’t know, that’s a US system that allows companies time to reorganise and hopefully get back on track without the threat of creditors moving in to close it down.
Actually, I’m not sure if ‘failure is the right word as the plan is to continue with business as usual and emerge within 60 days with a new company, called TMB. That could mean a January bankruptcy exit or early February at the very latest.
Mellon’s company, which makes high-end womenswear, footwear and accessories, is owned by Mellon herself and a raft of US and London investment funds.
It’s struggled to find its niche despite being stocked at major names including Net-a-Porter. Personally, I’ve felt that some of the ready-to-wear didn’t quite hit the mark but there have been some hits – such as a leather jumpsuit a few seasons back that sold out fast.
There have been footwear hits too – the most recent being the Frontline sandal with transparent side straps that have been seen on multiple red carpets of late.
The bankruptcy filing shows that the company had assets of between £1m and £10m (not exactly specific, is it?) and up to 199 creditors who are owed the same amount.
They include major names such as Hong Kong manufacturer Tak Fat Fashion and Italian shoe maker Calzaturificio Ilaria.
“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.
Earlier this week, the brand opened a pop-up at the W Hotel South Beach as part of Art Basel Miami.