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Publisher's Summary

A candid business narrative and memoir from the founder of Jimmy Choo.

Tamara Mellon made a fortune building Jimmy Choo into a billion-dollar fashion brand. She became the prime minister's trade envoy and was honored by the Queen with the Order of the British Empire - yet it's her personal glamour that keeps her an object of global media fascination. Vogue photographed her wedding; Vanity Fair covered her divorce and the criminal trial that followed. Harper's Bazaar toured her London town house and her New York mansion, right down to the closets. And the Wall Street Journal hinted at the real red meat: the three private equity deals, the relentless battle between "the suits" and "the creatives", and Mellon's triumph against a brutally hostile takeover attempt.

In this candid memoir she shares the whole larger-than-life story, with genuinely shocking insider detail that has never been presented anywhere. From her troubled childhood to her time as a young editor at Vogue to her partnership with cobbler Jimmy Choo to her very public relationships, Mellon offers a gripping account of the episodes that have made her who she is today.

The result is a must listen for entrepreneurs, fashionistas, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.

©2013 Tamara Mellon and William Patrick (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-11-13

4 ½ stars. A Memoir. Fascinating story.

I felt good at the end, but I wanted pictures.

This is the story of Tamara’s rise to fame (in the fashion world) and wealth. In much of the book I’m thinking “no, don’t do that” as she makes decisions that cause problems later. But the purpose of the book is to show her decisions, mistakes, consequences, her struggles through them, surviving, and succeeding. At the end of the book she is starting a new business and I am excited for her knowing she will not be making the same mistakes again. I am also excited because she is a creative fashion genius. She knows what is beautiful and what women will love - kind of like Steve Jobs in the tech field.

If you’re looking for something about celebrities and a fancy lifestyle, you may not want this. This is more appropriate for young entrepreneurs and/or women.

My feelings during the book varied. Many times I was suffering and frustrated at what she was going through. Private equity investors controlled 51% of the company and forced decisions against her wishes. She was forced to put up with a CEO who was verbally abusive and made decisions based on ego rather than the good of the company.

Tamara’s mother was a monster - a narcissist and sociopath. From childhood on Tamara suffered terrible abuse from her mother.

At times I felt like I was Tamara’s therapist, listening to her troubles and complaints. But she’s telling me her story. These are her words, her thoughts, her feelings. And that’s ok. This is a memoir, not a biography. A biographer would bring in a more balanced story with others’ opinions. So some readers might not be in the mood to listen that way, but I was fine with it.

Several times Tamara mentioned names of famous people and investment groups that I had never heard of before. It would have been helpful if she clarified parenthetically who she was talking about. But it wasn’t a big problem, I skipped through those.

Some things I found interesting:
In the beginning, Tamara wanted to be involved with quality fashionable shoes. So she approached Jimmy Choo a local shoe maker proposing they work together. She thought he would design and she would do the administration, production, and marketing. But to her surprise, he was not a good designer. She threw out what he did and did the designs herself. As it turned out she was the amazing creative artistic genius, and others were hired to do what she thought she would be doing. So she didn’t need Jimmy Choo. He did nothing. Yet he owned 50% of the business and would not agree to things like expansion. I think many of us have assumed we are not good at something, yet we’ve never tried it enough to know. I liked her comment “every mistake I made was from not trusting myself.”

Tamara did not know until around age 40 that she had ADD (attention deficit disorder). She also learned she had PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from growing up under the abusive stress from her mother. It caused permanent hormonal imbalances, which medications later helped with. Tamara also suffered verbal abuse from the private equity investors and the company CEO. Regarding this she said “The relief I feel at avoiding failure or abuse is always more pronounced than any real pleasure in achievement or recognition.”

I was intrigued with Tamara’s inspiration trips which were her muse for her artistic creations. She started with flea markets and later traveled to locations throughout the world.

I wish the book included pictures. This is about Tamara’s artistic creations. I wanted to see her first shoe designs and some of the more famous designs. The audiobook should have a pdf file for buyers to download.

Genre: memoirs

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Buster
  • Honolulu, Hawaii United States
  • 06-27-18

Such an inspiration!!

Loved this book! The struggles Tamara dealt with at every turn, definitely made for interest as a listener. She tackles every set back like a champ. She is a woman I admire and wish her much more success and happiness!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I mean seriously?!

Ok, I’m all about #girlboss #girlpower #girlentreprenuer but are you forking*** kidding me. You were well privileged, got to go to elite schools, ran in influential circles, got a job because of your dad’s connections that led to a job a forking*** VOGUE!!!!! Yes, you had childhood “trauma”, guess what so do 82%+ percent of us. I’m a daughter of third-world immigrants who paid NO ATTENTION to me because they worked and I suffered from beatings from me bi-polar brother and struggled with depression although my parents’ attention was all on my bipolar brother. Guess what, I didn’t write a boo-hoo me book...are you kidding me?! Your story is so ridiculous, you made it because you had some serious connections...in spite of. I love Jimmy Choo, after much hard work I can afford them but now it’s put I damper on them. Ughhh get over yourself. #girlboss #girlpower #girlentreprenuer

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    5 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of the narrator

What didn’t you like about Polly Lee’s performance?

He accent sounds fake. When she is an American character her voice gets REALLY annoying and weird, she uses some kind of valley girlish voice...doesn't matter if it's a man or woman, it is just plain strange and irritating. Sometimes she slips up and this american accent happens even when she is pretending to be British, this is why it seems her British accent is fake. She just sound weird.

Any additional comments?

Loved the story, not a fan of narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Life Like a Trashy Judith Krantz Novel

The reading is excellent. The story is nearly unbelievable. There were moments when I was doubtful of its veracity, but I have no reason to disbelieve it. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about the lives of those in the fashion industry.

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Wow just wow!

This is an amazing book every woman entrepreneur at every level should read! It really touched my heart and every part of the story felt close to home having gone through similar issues myself.

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GREAT BOOK!!!

I loved it'm Great for incomers to the industry. Her story is similar to Mark Weber's Always in Fashion, in how great minds are treated. As well as, the fight between money and creativity. I feel truly heart brokenthat all her work was just considered as nothing. Her mother was awful. All in all, awesome read. The rumors of the industry rang true in this book about bankers and fashion... be aware of who you get in bed with, follow your gut and maintain ownership of your company.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good read!

Enjoyed book. Technical at times, but very interesting. Felt exhausted knowing what the author had to endure daily. Business and fashion are no place for the weak.

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amazing story

I didn't expect such an intense, riveting story! the narrator was great. I recommended the book to my mother who also really enjoyed it. would recommend for those interested in fashion!

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mindboggling, so bad its good....

Where does In My Shoes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

very listenable .I find it both surrealistic and comic. Not sure if Tamara Mellon meant it this way

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tamara of course, genius postmodern comedian or nutter?

What about Polly Lee’s performance did you like?

very good very humourous, very AB FAB. Polly Lees performance is the highlight of this audiobook

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no i savour it, slowly deliciously

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  • Blessing
  • 01-30-17

loved every bit every single bit.

listened to it everywhere. very entertaining and eye opening. loved it to the max. highly recommended

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ValentineA
  • 05-02-16

The story of a egocentric but talented girl...

What was most disappointing about Tamara Mellon and William Patrick ’s story?

Although Tamara is clearly a talented business woman with a good vision, her story is infuriating as she constantly complains on how everybody is wrong, trying to screw her or else. When she clearly doesn't have one ounce of respect for anyone especially for the man who gave her his name (Jimmy Choo) when she took no time to later walk all over him. She is an egocentric, selfish and self centered woman. Unfortunately everyone that worked with her is bound to a non disclosure contract as i would have love to hear the other side of the story. Tamara has now left Jimmy Choo and her eponymous company Tamara Mellon failed... Not surprising at all.

What about Polly Lee’s performance did you like?

Very good

Do you think In My Shoes needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No please no more Tamara.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 01-25-15

Yawn yawn

Would you try another book written by Tamara Mellon and William Patrick or narrated by Polly Lee?

No

Has In My Shoes put you off other books in this genre?

No

Any additional comments?

I usually love biographies but this was the worst I have ever read/heard. Slightly interesting in parts but tedious listening to her be the victim in every situation and aspect of her life. Glad I have never met her and never will.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful