tamara-mellon-x-irina-shayk-2021

Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk

Style Without Compromise Is The New Luxury: The Irina Shayk x Tamara Mellon capsule collection is all about balancing fantasy and function.

Text by Rachel Marlowe.


As we emerge into this post-pandemic world after a year of slides and sneakers, women seem to be putting their foot down firmly in one of two fashion camps: High glamour versus continued comfort. But what if you didn’t have to choose between the two? Enter the Irina Shayk x Tamara Mellon capsule collection: a collaboration between the woman who designs the world’s sexiest shoes and the world’s sexiest supermodel.

The collection, which launched in June, features three styles—a lug sole high heel Sun Valley sandal, a Sand Dune buckled flat form, and a slouchy leather Escape boot—all of which seamlessly merge high fashion with function. “I love collaborating. Of course, the right collaborations mean there is an alignment in values,” says Mellon of the project. “Irina embodies strength, beauty, humor and has a great sense of style. The inspiration really came from Irina’s own wardrobe and we worked together to capture her energy and her effortless style in this collection.” For Shayk, a full-time supermodel and mother for whom comfort means confidence, that meant combining fashion with function and feminism. “Tamara has created a new culture and a new voice to support women through her brand. She mostly has a female team —81% percent of her employees in her company are female,” says Shayk. “I’m happy to be a part of the mission and to collaborate with Tamara. I think that was a perfect match for us to start something together.”

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Mellon (who co-founded Jimmy Choo before launching her eponymous shoe line in 2016) has made creating luxury, handcrafted footwear that encourages women to stand in their power a priority since day one. Tamara Mellon shoes all feature design innovations such as perfectly positioned heels and a toe spring to balance the weight between the ball and heel of your foot, boots in extended calf sizes, and luxury cushioned insoles including Cloud Cushion – a concealed layer of six millimeters of foam padding, and Pillow Top – an exposed insole with eight millimeters of memory foam padding. They are also all fit-tested by women. “Cloud Cushion was fairly straight forward,” says Mellon of the design initiative. “We were asked by our customers to continue focusing on making our shoes more comfortable so we designed 6mm of foam padding under the entire insole rather than just under the footbed. With regards to Pillow Top, we delivered a significant design and construction breakthrough after many, many prototypes wherein we tried to solve how to put a memory foam cushion on top of an insole, attach the heel and address the technical lasting issues of combining the cushion of a slipper with the beauty of a stiletto.”

While female-led luxury shoe brand founders have long been pushing to merge luxury and style with wearability, now, due to a pandemic-driven rise in comfort consumerism, wellbeing is also a new buzzword in fashion – something that was top of mind for both Mellon and Shayk. “Being female led has given us the capability to create a narrative which is distinct, fresh and relevant,” says Mellon. “That has most recently evolved into innovations that meet the needs of a consumer who is deeply conflicted between wearing high-heels after 18 months in slippers. There’s definitely going to be a shift in culture, in work environments, and I want to support that with my business. We are building a brand for women who want more from luxury.”

Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Collaboration
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Escape Boot
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Shoes
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Sand Dune Sandals
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Sun Valley Sandals
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Shoes
Tamara Mellon X Irina Shayk Sun Valley Sandals Yellow