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on October 26, 2013
I always finish my books, but I'm about 60% of the way through this one and am not sure if I can take it any more. The writing is poor and tedious with its overfocus on the minute details of the business transactions. But I think what got to me more was how whiny she comes off in the book; she does a thorough job of pointing fingers for blame and complaining about how bad her life is and how much worse it's going to get throughout the book, while at the same time talking about her she's paying for a half-a-million dollar wedding, jetsetting with celebrities, and so on. This is a tedious, and on top of it all, irritating read because of Tamara's seemingly endless complaining and blaming.
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on October 16, 2013
While I read about 3-6 books a week, both for work (in publishing) and pleasure, most of the books I read are history/biography/memoirs that are about people who have made substantial contributions to the world. I have a weak place in my heart for women like Slim Keith, C..Z Guest, Babe Paley, Mona Von Bismark, Wallis Simpson all the way down to Athenais De Montespan, Madame Du Barry and Eleanor of Aquitaine. So, this book seemed like it would be entertaining, and a fun read. I was NOT looking for any self-help or career advice in it. I don't know why anyone would.
Having said that I must also say that I have almost NEVER written a review (good or bad) about a book I have read (either for work or for my own enjoyment)
Now:
Tamara Mellon and her "co-author" can't write well. Nor can they pull off making Tamara seem anything other than a horrid individual, albeit one who helped bring great shoes to the forefront of the world's attention. Unlike Andie Sachs in A Devil Wears Prada I give credit to the men and women who work in the fashion industry, and recognize it as an important business.
I have met and worked with many strong, independent women who have struggled (in many cases during harder times than the 1990s when women had it difficult for many reasons), and usually these women are...eccentric, and can be downright rude, brusque or even mean. However, Tamara not only comes off as all of those, but she's one other thing...whiny. She comes off like a wounded bird who has built up anger for so, so, so many people (whose names she loves to drop) that she "wrote" this book possibly on the advice of her therapist for some sort of catharsis. I've worked with household names who may have made me go home and rant for an hour about how horrible they were, but at least they didn't whine about EVERYTHING in their ENTIRE life and then go on to be mean.
I almost never put down a book (especially a slim volume) before I've finished, and I almost made it through this piece of rubbish before it had to go into a chest that will probably never see the light of day again. It's not even a fun gossipy trashy book, but more the rantings of a woman who is probably one of the most unpleasant women you would run across.
I have no doubt that she should be proud of what she's accomplished, but I think the story would be much better if it were written as a graceful approach at those she seems wronged by (nearly everyone on earth). Instead of spewing venom, and poorly spewed at best.
Please DO NOT read this if you are looking for business advice. You won't find much here.
Please DO NOT buy this if you are looking for gossip trashy name dropping, because there are SO many other books you can get that are more substantial and more fun than this. This just makes you angry.
Please DO NOT buy this if you are a fan of Jimmy Choo shoes, Tamara isn't a fan of Jimmy or his (or her) shoes.
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on October 19, 2014
This book is kinda slow and rather a self centered project by the author. Throughout the book she makes herself sound like a diamond in the rough who blossoms into a fashion genius against all odds. When it comes down to it she had a great idea to market shoes and was lucky enough to have a rich family to help her market ideas that were not even of her creation. Did not even finish reading yet.
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on December 27, 2014
Tamara drops a lot of names and numbers, so what narrative there is is difficult to follow. I am glad that this book ended on a positive note. It highlights how women are taken advantage of in business even when the business and brand was their idea and the result of their hard work. I am sure she is stronger for the experience and wish her luck in her future endeavors.
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on June 2, 2016
Tamara was between companies in 2012 and "the idea of writing a memoir had been growing on" her. So, with the help of a professional writer and prodded by an anxious publisher, off she went exploring, exposing, exulting, exhibiting and being so connected. Throughout the book runs a theme and the reverberations of self-help groups, psychiatrists, addiction treatment, cocaine - "mountains of it" - alcohol, AA in all its manifestations, lawyers and scoundrels. Yes, there is the very, very manipulative and alcoholic mother. She NEVER liked Tamara and tried to screw her over in a long legal battle. The father on the other hand is tall, Irish, handsome and very helpful - he is dead by that time. We hear all about Tamara's childhood. Growing up in America as child of the Vidal Sassoon man and an alcoholic mother, then Britain, and Switzerland. What joy and adventures and we hear all about her friends in high places - well, that is one of the reasons we bought this book, isn't it? Tamara struggles at Vogue, then discovers Jimmy Choo, the shoemaker and - with a cash infusion by her father and his managerial know-how - starts the famous shoe company. Only, of course, things do not go swimmingly - Tamara is ALWAYS misunderstood, ALWAYS taken advantage of, ALWAYS the pushover. It is getting tedious to hear her muttering to herself and promising to do better and then - NOTHING. Now why did she have misgivings and still sign and then expect changes?! Really, Tamara! Oh, there is a short-lived marriage to Matthew Mellon whom Tamara met at an AA meeting. Their daughter Minty is now the center of her life - or so Tamara says.
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on January 2, 2014
I liked this a lot and had a hard time putting it down, but at times there was too much detail about the Private Equity companies. Also, she seemed to always be a victim and never really provided much insight into why her mother disliked her so much. It would have been interesting to hear more about her theories. Was her mother jealous of her fathers attention to Tamara? Did her father notice that her mother did not treat her well? Why would he tolerate that? Why did her brothers dislike her? What else happened with Matthew? More of this and less of the PE stuff would have made it perfect. In short, I liked the book and I liked Tamara.
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on March 23, 2015
Don't understand the negative reviews and glad I didn't skip this book bc of them. I was reading this for fun- I do not work in the fashion industry and was not looking for business tips. But I did find it interesting and informative on some level. I don't think Tamara is whiny - but I do see how her privileged upbringing can make her seem snooty and she has gotten some opportunities that others wouldn't normally have because of her contacts. She was a hard worker and did build up the company and brand. And had some tough lessons along the way. I cannot stand her mother , and actually feel sadness for that part of her life. but I enjoyed the book very much and felt like I learned about a brand I was unfamiliar with.
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on March 2, 2015
I really loved this book! I thought it was very candidly and sharply written.You can see how hard it is to succeed in business as a woman, and having the mother she had made it even more difficult to stand up for herself. I think it is ridiculous that some critics state that she can't complain because she had a wealthy upbringing! So rich children don't have a right to be happy and loved? The point of this book is that even if she had a difficult family situation, she made a life for herself by working hard and working on herself! Good for her! And very inspiring to others!
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on September 15, 2014
Tamara's memoir was very well- written, and I found myself feeling so invested in her and her story.

A few things I learned: money never buys happiness
There is still a ton of sexism in the business world.
When in doubt, go with your gut and stick to your guns.

I also learned so much about private equity, investments, and the like.

Tamara, you are a brilliant, talented woman, and I wish you all the best!

Beth Anne from brilliantbusinessmoms.com
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on October 10, 2013
Picked it up for the dish (yes, it's there) but ended up with a handbook on how to -- and not to -- navigate the business world as a female and a novice. Ms. Mellon spares nothing and no one in dissecting her rise to the top and problems encountered on the climb and at the supposed summit. Every turn, from sociopathic mum to devious business associates (lookin' at you, Mr. Choo) to doomed marriage to evil colleagues, is chronicled in somewhat of a poor me description but still an interesting story I finished in one sitting.

Would especially recommend to young female entrepreneurs.
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