I was very lucky, the accessories boom started in the mid-90s. Peoples lifestyles became more casual, people started wearing jeans, she said. As everyone got more casual, your status comes from your bag and your shoes.
Also interesting is Mellons take on the difference between technical competence and design vision. Originally, Mellon said, she planned to leave the shoe design
to Choo while she turned her attention to the operations side of the business, but:
I didnt realise that theres a big difference between technically making a pair of shoes, and having enough creative vision to design a collection. Now, Jimmy can technically make a pair of shoes, but he didnt have the creative vision to design a collection. So thats where I had to step in.
The perception of a divide between production skills and fashion nous anticipated a rift that would lead to the Choos ejection from the business. But there were attitudinal differences as well. Choo had worked as a cobbler in Hackney for years by the time Mellon first approached him with bespoke orders for magazine shoots. And Mellon?
I didnt want a couple of shops in London. I wanted a global brand.
Watch the shortened version of the interview here...
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