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Brief Published: 10 Feb 2012

Melissa Brings a Piece of Brazil to NYC


Earlier this week, Brazilian footwear retailer Melissa – a brand with a cult following thanks to its colourful plastic shoes – opened its first boutique outside Brazil, with a flagship in New York’s SoHo district.

Referred to as the Melissa Gallery, the store will also double as an exhibition space, supporting the brand’s illustrious history of collaborations with global creative talent. Previous partners include British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and New York-based product/interiors guru Karim Rashid.

The store has been designed by Melissa’s creative director Edson Matsuo and Brazilian architects Domingo Pacasceli and Moema Wertheimer, who describe it as an “urban cave”, offering a retreat from the busy city streets outside. Almost entirely white, the store will offer a blank canvas for a roster of guest artists, designers and architects. First off the block will be an installation by Brazilian artist Eli Sudbrack and French-born Christophe Hamaide-Pierson with their art collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus.

Sudbrack and Hamaide-Pierson, who also designed US pop star Lady Gaga’s Workshop at New York department store Barneys last Christmas, have created a vibrantly colourful animated video that will be projected in-store. This will be accompanied by a capsule shoe collection designed by the collective.

The New York store is just the start of Melissa’s wider masterplan to spread its reach throughout the rest of the world. The brand plans to open at least two more stores over the next year in Europe and Asia.