How Irina Shayk Became A Fashion Entrepreneur

by Eddie Roche

Earlier this year, Irina Shayk added entrepreneur to her résumé after the release of her first capsule collection of shoes with Tamara Mellon. She tells The Daily what it was like working with the shoe legend and the words of wisdom she lives by. 

Why did the collaboration with Tamara Mellon appeal to you?
When she came to me with this idea to collaborate, I couldn’t say no. She’s a genius. She’s a strong woman who employs mostly women. Basically 80 percent of her company is women, which is very cool. It was a perfect fit.

How long was the process?
We had to move fast with ideas and fabrics; it all Earlier this year, Irina Shayk added entrepreneur to her résumé after the release of her first capsule collection of shoes with Tamara Mellon. We did most meetings via Zoom. The Mellon team is so professional and experienced, so it was fun and easy.

Were they able to send you samples?
Of course. It’s all made in Italy, so it took some time. Basically the Spring/Summer collection was based on Tamara sitting on a cushion at home during COVID putting her feet up on this sofa that was so comfortable and she thought, “Why shouldn’t shoes feel like that? Why can’t I put that feeling in every shoe?” That was her inspiration. Everyone got creative during COVID.

Tamara Mellon x Irina Shayk

Did you have a certain woman in mind when working on the collection?
I always get inspired by strong women. The Fall collection is definitely fearless and confident. I wanted to design something that reflects confidence, which is probably why there are so many flat shoes in the collection. Every woman can wear them and feel confident and comfortable. Comfort for me is definitely key!

What did you learn from Tamara Mellon?
I learned that a woman can do it all. A woman like Tamara inspires me. She’s confident in her decisions. She knows her field. She lets everyone speak up, and she listens to your ideas. Everyone has a say at the table. I was inspired by her.

Do you know why she wanted to work with you?
When we did a Zoom call, she said if there was one person she wanted to be collaborate with it was me. Maybe she was inspired by me? I don’t know! We think the same way in many ways. You know how sometimes there are people you feel you’ve known for years and years and you only met them an hour ago? That’s how I felt about Tamara. Like I’ve known her before.

Are you going to continue the collaboration?
Yes. You’ll have to wait and see.

Irina Shayk (Caroline Fiss)

You also did a collab with makeup artist Mimi Luzon this year on a 24K Pure Gold Lip Treatment.
Mimi is my friend! She came to me with this idea and I said, “Let’s do something fun!” We got creative. It was also created during COVID. We made a 24K Pure Gold lip kit. It’s fun to collaborate with people who are basically part of your family.

What’s one piece of solid business advice that has stuck with you?
Don’t spend your money! [Laughs] You’re talking to a Russian girl! I did an interview a few months ago for a fashion magazine and they asked me the last thing I went shopping for. I literally don’t go shopping. During COVID, I redid my closet and found so many basic clothing pieces that I can give second life to. I’m not spending money on clothes. Know what you want, be creative with your ideas, and spend smart!

What are you looking forward to this fall?
For everything to be normal again! I’m so excited for New York coming back. Fashion Week is coming back! I’m traveling to Milan Fashion Week. I need this routine of seeing the girls and the designers. Life needs to get back to normal. This September is going to be a different experience. I think we’re going to appreciate our time and work more. I’m excited! We’re going to come back stronger than ever.

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