Minty Mellon remembers her first trip to a shoe factory, around the age of 12.
“I just loved following her around and being an assistant, making swatch cards of all the fabrics and keeping it organized,” she recalled of tagging along with mother Tamara Mellon on work trips. “It was kind of clear from an early age that I loved it. I loved going to the Jimmy Choo offices, I remember getting my first pair of heels when I was like 9 or 10 — the mini heels.”
Fast forward nearly a decade, and mother and daughter have released a collaboration under the Tamara Mellon brand, just in time for Mother’s Day.
The capsule — consisting of a Mary Jane style and a ballet flat, both price at $295 — was born from Minty’s practical needs as a student at NYU in downtown Manhattan.
“Last summer I was in New York working, and I realized that my friends and I were kind of stuck in this cycle of boots and sneakers,” said Minty. “We would go to dinner, walk around, and I would always want a shoe where I could dress up my outfit a bit more. So I went to my mom and thought it could be something fun we could do together.”
The two styles, named the Minty Ballerina and the Minty Mary Jane, are a slight departure from the brand’s usual offerings, which tend to focus on heels (its bestsellers are strappy sandals with a pillow-top insole designed to make high heels more comfortable).
“What is so interesting about working with Minty is that I get perspective on what her generation wants,” said Tamara. The Jimmy Choo co-founder started her eponymous line in 2013 after departing from the former brand in 2011.
That perspective hints at a lack of interest in high heels for Gen Z — at least for now.
“Heels at my age…I don’t know what it is but none of my friends and I wear them,” said 21-year-old Minty, who is a junior at NYU’s Gallatin School, studying fashion business. “I don’t know if it’s post-Covid, or we’re just too young, it’s maybe a slightly more mature look for our age. I think also being downtown there is such an emphasis on walking around all the time. We might grow into [heels] in a couple of years.”
For the capsule’s campaign, the elder Mellon let her daughter take the lead, with Minty tapping fellow NYU co-ed Grace Burns for a series of photos shot on film and collaged together. Another series by Katherine Goguen shows Minty and two of her friends in various New York City scenes, from a late-night bodega run to a graffiti stoop sitting and even a run on mom’s closet, all while wearing the capsule’s Mary Janes and ballet flats with miniskirts and sheer hosiery.
“Minty sent me a mood board of what she wanted so I could really get a visual. But she really did all of the work,” said Tamara. “She picked the last shapes, the materials, the colors. We made samples. Minty did the fittings herself, we sent the samples to her apartment.”
In real life, mother and daughter said they plan to wear the heels to suit their own personal styles: the elder in a tailored pant, t-shirt and ballerinas; the younger in baggy jeans and a tank.
“I have been secretly wearing them every day,” said Minty.