At the launch for their new new collab, Tamara Mellon and ALC designer Andrea Lieberman talk about working with your friends - and competitors.
After 15 years of friendship, designers Tamara Mellon and Andrea Lieberman can now call themselves business partners. The two trailblazers have launched a shoe collaboration, so to celebrate they hosted a dinner Wednesday night at the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood where fellow fashion friends came out to show their support for the new footwear collection.
The intimate dinner welcomed Ellen Pompeo, Andie MacDowell, Olivia Holt, Logan Browning, Erin Foster, Camilla Belle and Mickey Sumner as well as stylists Petra Flannery, Jamie Mizrahi, Jason Rembert and styling pair Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald.
Described as “fun, chic and effortless” by Lieberman, the collection offers two styles, the d’Orsay pump known as Pivot ($475-$495) and the mid-calf boot named Axis ($695-995), which each feature a cone heel. The Pivot pump comes in three different styles — leopard, zebra and black — while the Axis can be found in zebra print and a classic black. The official launch date is August 1, but the shoes are currently available for pre-order on tamaramellon.com and alcltd.com, and at both brands’ retail stores.
Lieberman, who owns the women’s ready-to-wear brand A.L.C., wanted the shoes to be daytime appropriate with a twist. “I find that it’s really hard to find a shoe to wear in the daytime that’s not completely flat,” she told InStyle.” “[It] doesn’t have too high of a heel but you put it on, and you just feel cool, and you just feel chic and you feel completely stylish.”
As the founder of a luxury footwear brand, Mellon runs her business based on the mantra of breaking the rules. Falling in line with dismantling the status quo, Mellon and Lieberman’s collaboration is doing just that.
“Normally you wouldn’t see two fashion people collaborate,” Mellon said. “When you see designers collaborate, it’s usually with an artist or with somebody within the creative industry but a different part of it, so you never see two designers.”
As dinner progressed, Mellon and Lieberman thanked their guests for coming out to celebrate their collection. During her speech, Lieberman expressed the beauty of women working together. “It’s very rare that two female founders and creatives get to play together, and it feels so effortless and it’s an amazing thing,” she said.
Logan Browning, star of Netflix’s Dear White People, was in attendance and admired Mellon and Lieberman for their commitment to collaboration. “When you have like-minded people, especially someone who understands you from your own gender perspective, it ends up working in your favor,” Browning said.
“Both of these women are mega powerhouses in this industry and just in life,” actress and singer Olivia Holt said of the two designers. “They really stand their ground in a way that sort of makes them different and stand out from everybody else.”
As friends and designers in the same industry, it would be expected for Mellon and Lieberman to have some bumps in the creative process, but that wasn’t the case. Their similar aesthetics and mutual love for animal print made it simple. “It couldn’t have been easier. I think because we really like similar things. We both love leopard print. We both love zebra,” Lieberman said.
If there’s one message the two hope to get across, it’s that coloring outside the lines and making new standards is completely acceptable.
“You can break the rules. You can work with your competitors. Women designing for women is always really powerful,” Mellon told InStyle. “When we designed the shoes, we wanted everyone to feel like a badass boss when they put them on.”