Tamara Mellon Taps Former Backcountry CEO For Top Post

Tamara Mellon is turning to a proven e-tail executive to help her restart her business.

The Jimmy Choo co-founder, who now operates her namesake label, has tapped Jill Layfield as co-founder and CEO of Tamara Mellon. Layfield is already a well-known player in the footwear industry, although she built her career in the outdoor sector, not the fashion arena.

Mellon announced recently that she was moving her headquarters to Los Angeles from New York and relaunching the brand as a direct-to-consumer label. Mellon, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year, restructured the company and raised $12 million in series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

The company will officially relaunch this fall under Mellon and Layfield, who grew Backcountry from a $30 million to $500 million business.

Tamara Mellon
Tamara Mellon.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

“I am elated to join Tamara in creating a brand for women, by women, direct-to-women,” said Layfield in a statement. “Tamara’s expertise in luxury shoes and vision for the brand combined with NEA’s long track record of partnering with entrepreneurs to build market-leading businesses is an exciting combination. We have an opportunity to reshape the footwear buying experience and build an iconic brand in the process — I can’t wait to get started.”

Layfield, who spent more than a decade at Backcountry.com, also held marketing and business development roles at Shutterfly, Cisco and 8×8.

“I want to rethink everything and redefine luxury,” said Mellon in the statement. “I’m thrilled to be working with Jill, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in building e-commerce businesses. Together we can build the brand I have always wanted to create.”

Tamara Mellon Spring 2016 Shoes
A spring ’16 style by Tamara Mellon.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand
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