In a move that promises to be the end of an era for the Jimmy Choo label, founder and chief creative officer Tamara Mellon announced over the weekend that she and the brand's CEO, Joshua Schulman, will be stepping down.
The moves come about six months after the brand was acquired for reportedly more than $800 million by Labelux Group, who released a statement Sunday saying that both Mellon and Schulman were leaving to pursue "independent careers," reports WWD.
“It’s always a surprise when people resign, but you digest the news and then see how you can build a future,” said Reinhard Mieck, Labelux’s chief executive in an interview Sunday. “But there are no negative feelings. We’re all very positive and there won’t be a change in strategic direction at Jimmy Choo.”
While Schulman will reportedly remain at the company for a while yet to help with the transition, Mellon's departure will come at the end of November.
While Schulman has reportedly insisted that the duo's departures are entirely independent of each other, WWD sees Mellon's move as the more "surprising" one, especially when she apparently told Footwear News back in July that "none of the bidders would buy the company without me."
The Telegraph, meanwhile, noted that "some executives, including managers of Labelux, are disgruntled with the state of the company following Jimmy Choo's ownership by TowerBrook Capital, a private equity firm."
No matter what Mellon's motives, the departure is big news: Mellon founded the label with the designer Jimmy Choo back in 1996, and has been largely responsible for building the brand into a blockbuster retail empire ever since and shepherding the epic sale to Labelux. Over the course of the sale, the brand's namesake -- Jimmy Choo himself -- was reportedly weighing a bid to buy back the company, but ultimately fell out of the running.
This fall, the brand has celebrated its 15th anniversary by re-issuing 15 classic styles -- including the one made famous by Carrie Bradshaw in "Sex and the City" -- with updated silhouettes.