Meet Melissa

Behind the Scenes at the Plastic Fashion Brand

Spring is here and as they say, April showers bring May flowers — and soggy stilettos. Unless, that is, you’re wearing Melissa shoes. The Brazilian-based label consistently taps into each season’s key trends, and turns out strikingly innovative designs — from deck shoes to elaborately studded pumps — exclusively in plastic. Inspired by the season’s wet, sole destroying weather, we visited with Michele Levy, the brand’s U.S. CEO, who clued us in on a few fun facts about the chic, all-season shoes.

Here’s a quick education in all things Melissa:

• The original Melissa shoe was created in the 1970s as a sturdier plastic alternative to a leather sandal worn by French fisherman.

• There’s no real-life “Melissa,” but so many refer to the CEO by the name, that she automatically responds to it.

• Every pair of Melissa shoes is infused with a sweet bubble gum scent.

• Kids collection Mini Melissa launched two years ago and was an instant success. “They make me the most popular person at any baby shower,” says Levy.

• Melissa is a favorite of the eco-conscious. The accessories are totally recyclable.

• Designer collaborations might seem like a trend of recent vintage, but Melissa was ahead of the curve on that score. Back in 1984, Jean Paul Gaultier designed a shoe for the brand.

• Karl Lagerfeld is the newest designer to join the roster. Look for the capsule collection of pointy flats and whimsical, glitter embellished pumps to hit stores starting in May.

Plastic Fantastic! Check out some other water-wicking we love:

Givenchy’s ankle-strap jelly sandals are part of the latest wave of gladiator-inspired accessories ($280).

Perennial prepster favorite Jack Rogers does its classic Georgica thong in beach-ready PVC ($68).

Fendi’s ankle strap Hydra wedge is a subtle way to wear stripes ($395).

Loeffler Randall updates the look of the smoking slipper with a girly jelly version ($250).

Tory Burch’s gamine ballet flat makes a plastic shoe look downright ladylike ($125).




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