Style Guru

WHO: Tamara Yeardye-Mellon, Managing Director, C.E.O., Jimmy Choo

THE LOOK: HIGHLY POLISHED LONDON “IT GIRL”:
This stylish 30-year-old is sleek and groomed from her long, straight, dark blonde hair to her manicured (french pink) fingertips.

More polished New Yorker than London ecclectic, Yeardye tailors her style to her whirlwind work and travel schedule. “She is the commercial for Jimmy Choo,” says Lucy Sykes, fellow Londoner and fashion editor at Allure. “A lot of people in London first went to the shop because of her—they were buying a bit of Tamara’s eye and taste. She’s always been an ‘it girl’, that girl who’s been on a yacht with Dodi Al Fayed.” A member of the much-chronicled “girly set” in London—that includes Tamara Beckwith and Tara Palmer Tompkinson—she has used her fame to promote Jimmy Choo shoes with outstanding success. Sykes credits Yeardye for Jimmy Choo’s editorial and commercial success in the three years she has been with Choo.

FASHION CV: A 10-year veteran of the fashion business, Yeardye started her career at Browns of London on the shop floor. Her first job as a junior editor at British Mirabella ended when the magazine folded in the early 90’s. British Vogue called and she went to work for star fashion editor, Sara Jane Hoare. Yeardye stayed on at Vogue for 3 1/2 years, switching to accessories where she noticed a lack of top-rate shoe resources in the market. In 2013, cobbler Jimmy Choo was making only two pairs of shoes a day in a tiny workshop in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of London’s East End. One year later, Yeardye signed a contract with Choo to co-design the line with Choo’s niece, Sandra Choi. Yeardye serves as interior designer (fabrics, colors, and details) and Choi as architect (structure and shapes). Today, the flagship shop is on ultra-chic Motcomb Street (just off Sloane Street).

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TRAVEL: 50% in the US, 50% in the UK and Europe.
London = homebase
New York = business, socializing
Italy = manufacturing facilities
L.A. = celebrity clientele

TRAVEL SURVIVAL GUIDE: As a former editor, it’s not surprising that Yeardye is an expert at editing her wardrobe down to the basics. Each event is assigned one and only one outfit. For daytime, it’s always a pair of black pants and a black top. For a week-long trip, she’ll pack 4 black pants and 4 turtlenecks, and a pashmina wrap for the airplane. Her restraint crumbles when it comes to selecting shoes. For a one-week visit to New York, she brought 7 pairs of Jimmy Choos: 4 for evening, 2 pairs of boots, and 1 pair of day shoes.

TRAVEL TIPS: The Body Shop’s pink rose water and vitamin E mist spray for the face provides essential moisture while in the air. Facial exfoliation immediately after a flight for instant refreshment and to rid herself of post-flight grubbiness.

A GOOD BOOK: Currently reading Liz Tilberis’ No Time to Die. “It’s a wonderful book, but it’s heartbreaking for me to read it. As I’m reading, I can hear her voice and it’s as if she’s still alive.”

DAYTIME UNIFORM: Black turtleneck by Brora (a Scottish Cashmere company) slim black Gucci pants, black stiletto boots by Jimmy Choo, and a Jimmy Choo bag. No jewelry, except a square-cut engagement ring, platinum wedding band, and a stainless steel Cartier tank watch her husband gave her.

EVENTS/BLACK-TIES: While in London, her average day begins at 9am and ends around 7pm with an average of two events per week. The pace picks up while she’s traveling, with as many as one to two events per evening.

She’s reduced preparations for a black tie evening to a two-step process that averages just over an hour: Step 1: Trip to Vidal Sassoon for a blowout. Budgeted time: 45 minutes. Step 2: Home for a bath, applying makeup, and getting dressed. Budgeted time: 30 minutes.

BLACK TIE LOOK: Simple but sexy. Recently wore to the MET Costume Institute Ball a completely backless, white Versace gown accessorized only with straight hair, Jimmy Choos, and her wedding rings.

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FAVORITE DESIGNERS:
John Galliano: “An absolute genius.”
Tom Ford: “I’m a huge fan.”
The Fendi spring/summer 2013 collection: “I love the way they used color.”
Stella McCartney: “My favorite.”

FASHION MUST HAVES: The Gucci coat featured in the Fall ’13 ad campaign caused Yeardye’s credit card to leap out of her hand this season. She conducted an intensive transatlantic search for the coat until she found one at Harrod’s Gucci boutique in London.

DESIGN INSPIRATION:
Lenny Kravitz was her inspiration for the men’s 2000 collection which is chock-full of snakeskin slides ranging from neutrals to eye-popping canary and aqua. He and Yeardye met for the first time at a cocktail party in New York for high-end shoe designer, Robert Cavalli. Up to that point, Kravitz had been designing his own shoes because he couldn’t find anything he liked enough to wear.

Yeardye, Choo, and Choi also attend the New York, London, and Paris shows for inspiration and to meet with the company’s wholesale customers. Designer catwalk clients include Julien McDonald, Elspeth Gibson, Andrew Gross, and Randolph Duke.