MELISSA Interview

 

Melissa’s story: when and how was this brand born? 

Melissa was born in 1979, after a trip of the Grendene brothers (owners of the Grendene Brazilian Group) to the Côte d'Azur. The French fishermen’s sandals were the great inspiration for the creation of the first Melissa called Melissa Aranha, which in no time became the most trending accessory in the world. Already in the '80s the "jelly shoes" had conquered the world, or rather the feet, of women and girls all over the world. The first model was so desired and loved that even today it is easy to find it in the windows of the most important luxury department stores in the world. The reinterpretation of the first Melissa, now called Melissa Possession, became the icon of the brand and has been reinterpreted and re-edited not only by Melissa but by important brands such as Gucci and Cèline. For over 40 years Melissa has been working in the fields of fashion, art and design and is recognized for collaborations with important names in these sectors such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Karl Lagerfeld, Jeremy Scott, Marine Serre, Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garçons Corso Como, Fila, Zaha Hadid, Campana Brothers, Gaetano Pesce and the recent projects with Viktor & Rolf and Y/Project. In addition, the brand has developed technologically, becoming the world leader in the design of PVC footwear Melflex scented, vegan, 100% recyclable, made in Brazil, with sustainable production processes. Today the brand is present in more than 4,000 stores in the world including single-brand and multi-brand stores, owns 340 Clube Melissa single-brand stores in Brazil, 140 exclusive stores distributed outside of Brazil, 3 flagship stores Galeria Melissa (São Paulo, London and NYC) and 5 e-commerce sites (Brazil, Italy, Europe, UK and USA). 

What is Melissa DNA and which are its characteristics? 

Melissa is recognized in Brazil and the rest of the world for its role as a curator of fashion, art and design, as well as for the innovativeness of her raw material: rubber. World leader in the design of perfumed PVC shoes Melflex, vegan and 100% recyclable, made in Brazil. In the DNA and in the brand’s vision there are innovation and constant technological research, combined with a great attention to the evolution of trends, creating a product for everyone: democratic luxury, genderless and timeless, visible through its collections. The iconic scent makes it the only shoe to put first to the nose and then to the feet. Its plastic Melflex makes the shoes and accessories soft, full of colors and textures to accompany us in a fantastic world made of creativity in harmony with Brazilian culture. In addition to fashion, art and design, namely sustainability, a fundamental pillar, present in all production processes and on which we have started to invest since the 80s. 

Melissa has always relied on the choice of materials with which the products are made, which are they and why are they so important? 

Melissa’s shoes and accessories are produced with Melflex PVC, a material that can be easily disassembled and 100% recycled. All of Melissa’s models are vegan, which means that we guarantee that no animal derivatives exist in the entire production process and no animal tests are carried out. This type of PVC makes the shoe flexible, durable and ensures its comfort. Melissa is always looking for technological innovation and over the years has produced plastic shoes with different effects and textures like velvet.  Today sustainability is a priority issue. Melissa is a responsible brand, by how much? Sustainability is one of Melissa’s pillars. In all production processes there is a great concern and commitment to reduce as much as possible any waste and environmental impact. This has always been one of the Group’s priorities since the 1980s when it began to implement actions to reduce environmental impact. Among the various activities related to sustainability we can mention: 100% recyclable and reusable products; more and more as a future goal! Melissa includes up to 30% recycled material in the production of new shoes. We have just launched two styles made of 100% recycled plastic and in March there will be the launch of a new collaboration in which in addition to having 50% recycled plastic will also have 30% biobased material. All the remaining plastics from final production go back to the first line to be reused. Melissa’s factories guarantee the internal and external recycling of over 90% of industrial waste. All Melissa products are vegan, and registered by The Vegan Society (@theoriginalvegansociety) and accompanied by eco-friendly packaging, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

What are you presenting during this edition of White?

We will present the novelties of the FW21 collection, with the new launches and the most anticipated collaborations for next winter. Among the top models we find a completely new boot created in collaboration with the famous haute couture brand Viktor & Rolf and always part of the collaboration, the new colors of the sandal Melissa Possession + Viktor & Rolf. There will also be new special colors of Melissa Possession, the most iconic model of Melissa, which has become a worldwide phenomenon. We will also take this opportunity to present the highly anticipated collaborations with the London brand Lazy Oaf launched on 18th of February and Y/Project, which debuted in January 2021 at the Paris Fashion Week.

 

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