Fond of glamorous, oversize sunglasses and sky-high stiletto boots, Tamara Mellon is not a person one would associate with the word “bargain.”
And dressed head to toe in an ultraviolet suede minidress and strappy sandals from the Jimmy Choo for H&M capsule collection, Mellon, founder and president of the luxury shoemaker, admitted: “It was a challenge for us to create high-quality pieces at an H&M price point.”
This story first appeared in the October 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Jimmy Choo for H&M line, which hits some 200 H&M stores Nov. 14, is the first time the fast-fashion retailer will collaborate with an accessories brand after doing successful one-off apparel collections with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Roberto Cavalli and, most recently, Matthew Williamson. Another first is on Mellon’s part: She has spearheaded her first apparel designs under the Jimmy Choo name.
“It was H&M’s idea to [do clothes], and as soon as they said it, I really wanted to do it,” said Mellon, who said she has no imminent plans to launch ready-to-wear under the Jimmy Choo umbrella, but added: “Never say never.”
“Through vintage shopping, I had a rail of stuff,” said Mellon of her design process, not unlike the manner in which she generates Jimmy Choo’s four collections a year. “It’s the same woman [who is the inspiration for Choo’s] fall collection. She’s rock ’n’ roll, a little punk.”
For fall, Mellon was inspired by late-Seventies pop icons and hippies in Goa, India.
“It’s buy-now, wear-now for party season,” said Mellon of the collection of apparel, handbags, costume jewelry and those signature sky-scraping Jimmy Choo stilettos that have made the 13-year-old company well known.
The line reflects just how Mellon would style the accessories on herself. The women’s rtw looks include a sequin-covered black jersey dress with a plunging V neckline; a one-shoulder gray suede minidress; a chubby black faux fur vest; a boxy zipped cashmere cardigan covered in black sequins and beads, and — Mellon’s favorite — a short-sleeve black suede minidress drenched in long suede fringes that extend past the knee.
The shoes are equally edgy. All made of leather, there are bondage-inspired high-heel sandals for evening, strappy studded gladiators for day and stretch leather over-the-knee boots meant to be worn with a short skirt or dress. Many pieces are inspired by styles that have been in the collection, such as an oversize leather clutch with gold hardware, an embellished zebra-striped pochette for evening and platform sandals.
“It works all different ways,” said Mellon, noting dressing day-to-night was a key factor in creating the collection.
There is also a selection of men’s apparel and accessories, another first for Jimmy Choo.
“Men’s was a little more challenging,” said Mellon. “It’s what you want your husband or boyfriend to wear. It’s more about the cut than anything else.”
The men’s assortment includes a refined leather bomber jacket, a black suit, slim-cut jeans and easy T-shirts.
An advertising campaign, which will be in major fashion magazines and outdoor, was shot by Terri Richardson, who regularly photographs Jimmy Choo’s ad campaigns with model Angela Lindvall.