She recalls the sample she made of an electric-blue nappa boot. “That’s a wild color, right. So you’re not really sure who will be buying it. So I took a picture of it and put it on Instagram and we said, ‘Who likes it?” We had 500 requests, so I put it in production.”
Mellon says her new business model also gives her an edge over her competitors. “I still work with the Italian factories, so I still pay the same price as all my competitors. The quality is incredible, but I don’t mark my shoes up six times anymore, because I don’t have to have wholesale margin in there. So my shoes are 50 percent less than what I used to charge.”
Although Tamara Mellon is now attracting the attention of celebs, including Meghan Markle — at a garden party in honor of Prince Charles’ 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace, Meghan Markle wore the Tamara Mellon Siren pump — the British designer was not without her struggles. In 2013 Mellon launched her new, Los Angeles-based line, which sold through high-end retailers like Neiman Marcus. But just two years later she filed for bankruptcy.