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与Jimmy Choo创始人共进午餐 Lunch with the FT: Tamara Mellon
页面更新时间:2017-05-17 17:04

与Jimmy Choo创始人共进午餐 Lunch with the FT: Tamara Mellon

At the beginning of my lunch with Tamara Mellon, the 43-year-old founder and present chief creative officer of Jimmy Choo, the ma?tre d’ put us in the wrong room at the Four Seasons. Or, to be fair, he put me in the wrong room. There are two: the Grill Room, which is small and woody and near the bar, and the Pool Room, which is a much grander space in the back, set around a large burbling fountain. Fashion people tend to like the Grill Room; bankers and captains of industry tend to like the Pool Room. Mellon’s uncle-in-law, Jay Mellon, for example, the Mellon family patriarch, likes the Pool Room, and that’s where he takes her when they have lunch. Which may be why the ma?tre d’ assumed she wanted to sit there when we met.

与现年43岁的Jimmy Choo创始人兼CEO塔玛拉?梅隆共进午餐前,四季酒店(Four Seasons)的餐厅领班把我们领错了包间,或者准确地说,把我领到了其它包间。其中有两个包间:一个叫Grill Room ,另一个叫Pool Room,前一个包间面积小、木质装修,靠近酒吧;后者面积大得多,位于酒店后面,围着一口汩汩的大喷泉而建。时尚圈的人一般喜欢Grill Room包间;而银行家与大公司老总则比较青睐Pool Room包间。比方说,梅隆的叔叔(她前夫的叔叔,梅隆家族的族长)杰伊?梅隆(Jay Mellon)喜欢Pool Room包间(他俩只要一起吃饭,杰伊就准会带她上这儿来),这就是为何餐厅领班自认为我们约好会面的地点是在Pool Room包间的原因所在。

But as anyone who reads both the tabloid and the broadsheet press knows, when it comes to Tamara Mellon, you should never assume anything. So five minutes after I start drinking my Pellegrino in the Pool Room, a rather flustered waiter appears and apologetically takes me back to the Grill Room.

但是,任何读过小报与broadsheet(一种大幅尺寸版面的报刊)的人都知道:说到塔玛拉?梅隆时,啥事都不能仅凭想当然。所以我在Pool Room包间里喝着圣培露矿泉水(Pellegrino)坐了足足有5分钟后,才有一位满面羞愧的服务员找到我,把我带到Grill Room包间,一路上还不停地向我道歉。

Where I find Mellon, on a banquette, snuggled up under the arm of financier Nat Rothschild, giggling. She is wearing a leopard-print silk sheath dress and towering black Jimmy Choo booties, which look familiar from a YouTube video I had seen of the walk-in closet in her gigantic Fifth Avenue apartment (which she bought from Warner chief executive Edgar Bronfman Jr, as detailed by blogger the Real Estalker, for $20m), including her hundreds of pairs of Choos.

找到梅隆时,她正躺在沿墙的长条形软座上,小鸟依人地偎依在银行家奈特?罗斯柴尔德(Nat Rothschild)的怀里,身穿豹纹紧身丝裙,脚穿周仰杰黑色短靴,这双靴子相当眼熟,记得自己曾在YouTube网络视频中见过它们,当时放在她位于第五大道(Fifth Avenue)宽敞公寓房里可以进出换装的衣柜中,衣柜里还有她那几百双各种款式的周仰杰履鞋。(她从华纳CEO小埃德加?布朗夫曼(Edgar Bronfman Jr)手中以2000万美元购得该套公寓房,在Real Estalker的博客中对此有详细介绍)。

In other words, she looks just like the sort of trophy wife you might expect to see sitting with an international mover and shaker in a quintessential uptown New York restaurant ? except she is neither a wife (she was very publicly divorced from Matthew Mellon in 2003, complete with acrimonious court case and allegations of computer hacking, but they are now friends), nor anyone’s trophy. On the contrary, these days she is busy collecting trophies of her own.

换句话说,看着她在纽约住宅区的高档餐馆与国际级大腕共进餐,你可能觉得她的模样活象个花瓶妻子??实际上,如今她既非人妻(2003年她沸沸扬扬地与马修?梅隆(Mathew Mellon)离婚,还有闹得不可开交的法律官司,她指控马修雇用黑客侵入其电脑,但如今两人又成了朋友),也非任何人的玩偶。相反,如今倒是她正忙于不断“网罗”自己的玩偶。

Earlier this autumn, for example, Mellon was in London receiving her OBE from the Queen for services to British fashion. Jimmy Choo has 115 stores in 32 countries, and has been valued at close to ?500m. Then, the week before we meet, she was named as one of David Cameron’s new global trade envoys, along with fellow accessory supremo Anya Hindmarch and Sir Anthony Bamford of JCB, among others.

去年刚入秋时,因对英国时尚业作出的杰出贡献,她在伦敦被女王授予官佐勋章(OBE)。如今Jimmy Choo在全球32个国家开了115家门店,总估值接近5亿英镑。再后来,就在我俩会面前一周,她同配饰界的大姐大安雅?希德玛芝(Anya Hindmarch)、杰西博的安东尼?班福德爵士(Sir Anthony Bamford)等许多名人一起,被大卫?卡梅伦首相(David Cameron)任命为新的全球贸易特使。

“I was surprised,” she admits as we take our leave of Rothschild (who has his own lunch guests) and move to our table. Not so much, she continues, because unlike Hindmarch and Sir Anthony, she hasn’t been very involved in Conservative party politics (though she did meet George Osborne in 2006 when they sat on a council for British enterprise together) but because of, “Well, who I am.”

与罗斯柴尔德(他另有自己宴请的客人)告别,我俩到自己的桌子坐定后,她承认说, “这事我没想到。”但又不算太惊讶,她继续说,因为和希德玛芝以及安东尼爵士不一样的是,她并没有深度介入保守党的政治圈(虽然她2006年就结识了乔治?奥斯本(George Osborne),当时他俩一起出席了面向英国企业的一个会议)而是因为,“哎,你知道我当时的情况嘛。”

For instance, I say, because when you Google “Tamara Mellon”, one of the first things that comes up is a profile in Interview magazine, published earlier this year, which was accompanied by a Terry Richardson portrait of her naked, lying on a couch with her head thrown back, smoking a cigarette and holding a cat over her nether regions?

我说,该不会是指这件事吧??在Google上搜索“塔玛拉?梅隆”时,首先映入眼帘的是刊登在去年早先出版的Interview杂志上她的一张侧影照,旁边就是由泰利?理查森(Terry Richardson)为她专门拍的一张裸照,照片中的梅隆躺在沙发上,头往后仰着,嘴里抽着烟,手里抱着一只猫遮住了她的私处?

“Yes!” she laughs, completely ignoring the menu. “I could not believe the Daily Mail used [the trade envoy appointment] as an occasion to reprint that picture ? especially because Terry holds the rights, so I thought I was safe, because he’d never sell it. But they just took it! Now he’s made them take it down, and it’s off the Interview website, but still.”

“没错!”她笑着说,把点菜的事忘得一干二净。“我不相信《每日邮报》(Daily Mail)会利用这事(我担任贸易特使)作为重印那张照片的‘契机’??尤其是由于该照片的版权还在泰利手中,况且(我觉得)他永远都不会出售它,所以我认为不会有啥问题。但《每日邮报》未经许可直接就把照片登出来了!现在泰利已经要求他们撤下照片,如今照片已经从Interview的网页上删掉了,但还有人在互相传。”

Did you really not think that would get out, I ask? Could Mellon, who has had numerous newspapers print paparazzi shots of her snatched while (one example) sunbathing topless on holiday with a former boyfriend, Christian Slater, really be that naive?

于是我就问她:你当时真没想过照片会流传出去吗?狗仔队(paparazzi)偷拍到了她在度假时上身一丝不挂地与前男友克利斯汀?史莱特(Christian Slater)在一起晒太阳浴的照片,她默许众多报纸予以刊登,难道这样的梅隆真那么幼稚吗?

“It has such a niche audience, Interview,” she shrugs. “It’s such a specific thing. I really didn’t.” And despite my obvious incredulity, she opens up her blue eyes and rolls them at herself and insists she really was that uncynical. And I kind of believe her.

“总有那么一小撮别有用心的Interview杂志读者,”她耸耸肩说。“这完全是个特例,我真的不知道这一切。”她明显看出我不信她的解释,但睁大蓝色的双眼,翻转着看着自己,并坚持说她确实没那么玩世不恭。我这才有点相信她说的话。

Besides, the Prime Minister and his gang don’t appear to mind ? at least they haven’t said anything to her ? and neither did TowerBrook, the private equity company that currently owns Jimmy Choo, when the story was first published. “It went over very well, apparently,” laughs Mellon, as though she can’t quite believe it herself. After all, normally, if a member of a global company’s C-suite were to pose naked, the resulting outcry would involve not only questions of propriety but probably shrieks about questionable judgement and requests to step down. That’s what I would think, anyway. But then I ? like the ma?tre d’ ? would be mistaken. Besides ? “We should order!” Mellon cries.

再说,卡梅伦首相与他的手下也似乎并不在意??至少他们迄今为止还没找她谈及此事??整件事一经媒体刊载后,周仰杰公司现在的控股股东TowerBrook私募投资公司也未发表任何意见。“很显然,整件事算是风平浪静地过去了,”她笑着说,似乎连她自己都觉得不太相信,娱乐平台开户送礼金。毕竟正常情况下,如果一家全球性公司的“C级别雇员”(指企业最高管理层,译者注)的裸照遭曝光,随之而来的强烈抗议不仅会涉及其行为得体与否的问题,而且可能因此作出靠不住的判断,并随后要求其离职。不管怎么说,我是会这么想的。不过,与餐厅领班一样,我判断错误。(我没想到的还有,)这时梅隆突然大声叫道:”我们还没点菜呢!”

It’s been 20 minutes since we moved tables, and a waiter is hovering. I thought she just wasn’t hungry. “I’d like the tuna carpaccio and the Dover sole,” she says, which is a main course more than anticipated (as expected, however, there is no wine involved, only Diet Coke; this is New York, after all, and she’s been sober for “about 15 years”). I ask for the tuna, and tack on some soup to keep her company. Mellon may be skinny, but she eats: the day after we meet, which happens to also be Thanksgiving, she is planning to have lunch with the retired couturier Valentino Garavani, followed by Thanksgiving dinner with her ex-husband’s family.

我们坐到这张桌子已经20分钟了,服务员也一直在不远的地方等着。我想她也许压根就不饿。“我想要金枪鱼生牛肉片(tuna carpaccio)以及多佛鳎鱼(Dover Sole),”她说,这是道垂涎已久的主菜(但与预想地一样,娱乐平台开户送礼金,她没要酒,只要了健怡可乐(Diet Coke);毕竟这是在纽约,她保持清醒状态已经“大约15年”了)。我自己点了金枪鱼,还要了份汤,就为陪着她。梅隆骨质身材,但也饭局不断:就在我们会面后的第二天,那天适逢感恩节,她约好与退休的时装大师华伦天奴?格拉瓦尼(Valentino Garavani)共进午餐,晚上又约定与前夫一家人共进感恩节晚餐。

She has effectively been absorbed into the Mellon clan; they are one of the reasons she moved from London to New York in 2008: so that her eight-year-old daughter, Araminta, could be closer to her father and his tribe. Although Mellon was close to her own father, Vidal Sassoon co-founder Tommy Yeardye (he was her earliest champion, giving her $150,000 to start Jimmy Choo), she has called her mother, Ann, “a sociopath”, and since her father’s death in 2004 no longer speaks to her, or her two younger brothers.

她已经成功被梅隆家族接纳;这就是她缘何于2008年从伦敦移居纽约的其中一个原因:如此一来,她8岁的女儿阿拉明塔(Araminta)能进一步培养与她父亲及整个家族的感情。虽然梅隆与她父亲汤米?叶尔戴(Tommy Yeardye)感情很好,她父亲是维达?沙宣(Vidal Sassoon)的合伙创始人,是她最早的赞助人,给了她15万美元帮她创建了周仰杰公司,但她说她母亲安(Ann)是个“与社会格格不入的人”,自从她父亲于2004年去世后,她就再也没和母亲及两个弟弟说过话。

Living in New York also helps Mellon to avoid the paparazzi. And the United States is one of Jimmy Choo’s biggest markets.

此外,生活在纽约还能让梅隆设法摆脱狗仔队的纠缠,况且美国还是周仰杰公司最大的市场。

“I knew, from the start, that we needed to be in the US because of the buying power here,” she says as the tuna is deposited in front of us. “You can’t be global without America, and I always wanted to be global. It normally takes a British brand 20 years to get across the ocean, but we opened three stores in America between our second and third years in business, and we were able to do it because of what we did by coming to the Oscars and having the shoe suite.” In what has now become an annual tradition, Mellon famously set up shop in the Peninsula Hotel the week before the academy awards and hand-dyed shoes to match celebrities’ gowns, one of the first brands to exploit the power of the red carpet.

“我从一开始就明白我们的产品得要进入美国市场,因为这里有充足的购买力,” 她说,这时她要的金枪鱼端上来了。“不把美国算在内,你就不能算是全球性公司,再说我本人一直想要实现全球化经营。正常情况下,英国品牌得需20年时间才能飘洋过海打开美国市场,但我们在美国经营不到3年就开了三家门店,我们能做到这一点,原因就在于我们为参加奥斯卡颁奖晚会的女星们定制系列鞋履产品。”如今通过这每年一次约定俗成的赞助,梅隆成功地于奥斯卡颁奖晚会前一周在半岛酒店(Peninsula Hotel)开设专卖店,提供手工染色鞋履去搭配明星们的礼服,Jimmy Choo是第一家成功利用奥斯卡红地毯宣传魔力的品牌。

“But we were only able to do it because at that time my father was my investor. Can you imagine saying to a banker: I want to spend all this money and give the shoes for free? They’d say, ‘You’re crazy,’ and refuse. But when he worked with Vidal Sassoon, he had him cutting hair on stage in Japan, so he understood.”

“但我们做到这一点,完全是因为那时父亲出资帮了我。你能想象得到游说银行家时的情形:我要用你的出资,免费给那些女明星提供鞋履,行吗?他们肯定会这样告诉我,‘你脑子有病,’然后就一口拒绝。但父亲与维达?沙宣一起合伙干时,有一次在日本,他让沙宣当众为他理发,沙宣理解了我父亲的苦心,于是同意向我出资。”

Her father taught Mellon, she says, “to trust my instincts. I think that’s my biggest strength. People who are over-educated become risk-averse.” Given that Mellon did not go to university, this is not an unexpected statement. She elaborates: “Money guys can look back at what you’ve sold and come up with a plan for future growth, but they can’t pick the product that will put the numbers on the paper. I can do that, and my job is to make them understand that.”

梅隆说,父亲教会了她“要相信直觉。我认为那是最大的力量源泉。教育程度太高的人往往不愿意冒险。”梅隆没有上过大学,所以不存在想不到这一说。她详细解释道:“投资者会事后统计你的销量,再制订出未来增长的计划,但他们选不中哪些产品能赚钱。我却能做到,而且我的工作就是让他们明白。”

She speaks from experience. In 2001, deciding that they wanted to buy out Jimmy Choo, the eponymous cobbler of the business whose dream (nice shoes for a few nice women) had diverged from Mellon’s (global domination led by fashion-hungry trend-setters), Mellon and her father began to look for outside investment. They sold a 51 per cent stake of the company to private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners, who held on to it until 2004, when they sold it to Lion Capital, who held on to it for three years, and then sold it to TowerBrook (Mellon has retained 17 per cent). This makes Jimmy Choo the most successful fashion/private equity story in the industry, not just in the UK but globally: though private equity has had a millennial flirtation with fashion, few funds have been able to make the unpredictable style cycles work with their traditional strategy of holding a company for three to five years. The global private equity firm TPG, for example, held on to the Swiss shoe and leather goods maker Bally for nine years after it struggled to restructure the brand following its purchase in 1999.

她用自己的亲身经历来佐证。2001年,她做出全盘买下Jimmy Choo的决定后,当时圈内一位大名鼎鼎的制鞋商(他认为应该为少数精英女性设计新款女鞋)与梅隆的理念(她的想法是在痴迷时尚的潮人引领下占领全球市场)相左,于是梅隆与她父亲开始寻求圈外的投资。他们出售了51% 的股权给私募资本公司Phoenix Equity Partners,对方持股到2004年后,把股权卖给了狮王资本(Lion Capital),狮王持股了三年后,又把股权卖给了TowerBrook(梅隆持有Jimmy Choo公司17%股份)。这使得Jimmy Choo并不仅仅在英国、而是成为全球时尚界与私募资本合作成功的典范:虽然私募资本与时尚业在2000千禧年前后打得火热,但很少有基金能够做到把时尚界难以预测的周期与自己惯常的持股期(通常3至5年)步调一致。比如说,瑞士鞋业制造商巴利(Bally)于1999年遭收购后,又进行了艰难的品牌重组之路,即便如此,全球私募资本公司TPG一直持有它的股权长达9年。

“It’s the numbers,” Mellon says now. “You make your numbers, and they’re happy. So even though the private equity guys might not understand what you’re doing ? and what I do is very intangible to them ? they start to trust you.”

“关键是业绩,”梅隆现在说。“你只要挣钱,这些股东就高兴。所以即使私募资本的掌舵者可能不明白你所做的事??再说我所做的事他们就压根不懂??但他们会慢慢信任你。”

Still, she admits as the Dover sole appears, it’s exhausting. “Just as you get to know one board, they sell you, and you have to start all over again.” You have to, for example, start again with explaining things such as the importance of “hair and make-up”, she says, “which they just don’t get.” You have to teach them the danger of underestimating, or making assumptions, about the creative side.

然而,她承认(这时她要的多佛鳎鱼端上来了)这一切让人筋疲力尽。“正当你刚刚熟悉这一届董事会,他们却决定要卖掉公司,于是你又得从头开始。”比如说,你得重新向新董事解释诸如“发型与化妆品”如何重要这样的事,她说,“但他们就是云里雾里。”你得耐心向他们一点点解释对创新低估或自以为是所导致的严重后果。

“I was young, and didn’t really understand what private equity was when we sold the first time,” she continues. “In retrospect, I wish I had been my own private equity firm and just gone to the bank and asked them to lend me the money I needed.”

“我当时太年轻,每一次出售股权时,没有真正理解私募资本的本质,”她继续说。“现在回想起来,我真希望自己有家私募公司,(真要是那样的话),只需直接接洽银行,让它们借给我要的钱就行了。”

Today, however, “I couldn’t buy the whole company now if I wanted,” even though she’s worth about ?102m, and she does want. Instead, TowerBrook, entering the end of its three-year cycle, is in the midst of a “strategic evaluation”, where they are trying to decide what happens next: whether they sell to another private equity firm, or take Jimmy Choo public, or hold on to the brand. Mellon won’t commit to any scenario, though she does say that, having been on the Revlon board since 2008, she has seen at first hand the difficulties being a public company entails. Whatever happens, she hopes the owners will commit to a long-term strategy that she is currently devising.

但如今的现状是:“即便我想买下整个公司,我也无能为力,”虽说她如今身家约1.02亿英镑,而且真得想全买下来。相反,在(通常私募资本持股)三年期快结束时入股的TowerBrook,如今正对Jimmy Choo进行“战略估值”,娱乐平台开户送礼金,然后再决定下一步的举措:是把Jimmy Choo卖给另一家私募资本公司,抑或将它上市,还是继续持有。梅隆不愿就公司的未来预设任何图景,虽然她的确说过:自她2008年担任露华浓(Revlon)董事以来,曾亲眼目睹了公司上市所要经历的艰难险阻。不管情况如何,她希望股东们能致力于公司的长远发展战略,她目前正在就此进行运筹帷幄。

“I think it takes 30 years to build a luxury brand,” she says, eating half her fish and then asking for coffee, “so we’re part-way through. And there’s so much I want to do. I think we can become a lifestyle brand, because one thing doing the collaboration last year with [high-street retail chain] H&M showed us was that consumers would accept any product from us: we did men’s wear, we did women’s wear, we did jewellery. And I want to do all of that.”

“我认为树立一款奢侈品牌需要30年,”她说着,吃了一半的鱼,然后又要了咖啡,“所以说我们的创业只是过了半程,我还任重道远。我认为我们能把Jimmy Choo打造成生活时尚品牌??公司与高端零售连锁品牌H&M的合作就清楚表明了一点:消费者喜欢我们推出的任何产品,包括男装、女装以及珠宝类。这些我全想做。”

She means this literally: a perfume will launch next year, followed by men’s shoes, followed by children’s wear, watches, jewellery, homeware, and so on. Perhaps as a security strategy during the next phase of the brand, she is the “face” of the perfume, and will appear in the advertising campaign (clothed) with her head thrown back to expose her neck. It’s not the only self-exposure she is considering.

她事实上说到做到:旗下某款香水预定明年推出,然后是男鞋,再之后是童装、手表、珠宝、家居用品等等。也许在打造品牌的下一个阶段,为保险起见,她自己会充当香水的“代言人”,会在广告宣传中亲自披挂上阵(当然是穿衣服的):头往后仰,香脖露出来。当然这不会是她筹划的唯一一次自我推介。

For, as we walk out, Mellon mentions she would like to write a book. An autobiography. “There’s been so much nonsense said about me, I figure I should just get it out,” she says. All of it? I ask. The naked truth?

因为我们走出餐馆时,梅隆提及她想要出书,是她的自传。“关于我的事有这么多的不实之词,我觉得我应该原原本本把它写出来,”她说。于是我问她:是全部吗?毫无保留的事实真相?

“All of it,” she smiles. Then she mentions she knows a filmmaker who told her if she ever did tell her story, he’d like to make the movie.

“当然是全部?,”她笑着说。然后又提到她结识的一位导演曾说:若她真想把自己的事情告白于天下,他倒有兴趣把它拍成电影。

Who?

我问她:谁呀?

Before you guess Guy Ritchie or Matthew Vaughn, know this: the answer is Peter Morgan, author of high-minded talk fests Frost/Nixon and The Queen.

也许你猜测会是盖?里奇(Guy Ritchie)或者马修?沃恩(Matthew Vaughn)。告诉你吧:这人是皮特?摩根(Peter Morgan),他是高品味的漫谈类电影《福斯特对话尼克松》(Frost/Nixon)及《女王》(The Queen)的编剧

The Four Seasons

四季酒店地址:曼哈顿东52街99号

99 East 52nd Street, Manhattan

价目表:

Soda/water x3 $13.50

三杯苏打水/纯净水:13.5美元

Crudités $10.00

蔬菜色拉(Crudités):10美元

Tuna carpaccio x2 $50.00

2份金枪鱼生牛肉片:50美元

Consommé $16.00

清炖肉汤(Consommé):16美元

Dover sole $65.00

多佛鳎鱼:65美元

Coffee $6.00

咖啡:6美元

Cappuccino $6.00

热牛奶咖啡:6美元

Total (with tax and service) $181.29

总计(包括税及小费):181.29美元