EXCLUSIVE: Working Title is slipping into some Jimmy Choos. I’ve learned the prolific UK-based production company has optioned In My Shoes, the autobiography of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon, with a view to bringing the larger-than-life story to the big screen. Comedian-screenwriter Laura Solon (Hot in Cleveland) has adapted the book, and I understand Working Title is out to directors. Principals Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with WT’s Lucas Webb overseeing.
In My Shoes, which was published in 2013, is an account that begins with Mellon’s troubled childhood and proceeds through to her time as a young editor at Vogue, her partnership with Malaysia-born cobbler Choo, whose footwear she developed into a billion-dollar brand, and the struggles for control of the company.
Envisioned as a female-skewing big fashion comedy a la The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City, there’s also some Trainwreck in the mix. I understand the plan is to pick up the story after Mellon is let go at Vogue, does a stint in rehab and goes on to co-found Jimmy Choo. As the company becomes a runaway success, a big part of the drama unfurls when private-equity suits try to take over, undermine quality, boost sales and ultimately sell the firm out from under her. Mellon fights back tooth and nail, but the real heartbreak of the story is an estrangement from her mother and the ensuing court case after her father’s untimely death.
Mellon met bespoke designer Choo in the ’90s and co-founded Jimmy Choo Limited in 1996. The first store, on London’s Motcomb Street, opened that year, with more than 100 others to come all over the world. The shoes became a fixture on Sex and the City and red carpets everywhere.
Mellon became the British prime minister’s trade envoy, was honored by the Queen and has rarely been out of the spotlight. Vogue photographed her wedding; Vanity Fair covered her divorce and a criminal trial that followed.
London’s Sunday Times has said of Mellon: “She is the woman who lost her job as a lowly page editor on Vogue, headed to rehab, then set up a business with a Malaysian-born East End cobbler. … In less than a decade, she became the face, brains and legs of a fashion superbrand.” In half that time, she lost it. Choo sold his 50% stake in the company in 2001, and Mellon then faced her own battles with her investors, and her mother. She ultimately sold her shares for a reported $135M and exited the company in 2011.
Working Title is in postproduction on director Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman with Michael Fassbender, and Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. It also has threequel Bridget Jones’s Baby due for release September 16.