Established in 1979 and owned by Brazilian manufacturing company Grendene, Melissa has more than 300 stores globally and is sold at more than 20,000 retailers in 80 countries.
The L.A. location, called Melissa Clube, marks the company’s second U.S. presence, after opening in New York City in 2012. The SoHo store, Galeria Melissa, was its first retail expansion outside of Brazil, offering consumers an interactive experience using art and design. Similarly, the new shop — a 1,093-square-foot space designed by Ouriço Arquitetura e Design of Rio de Janeiro — serves as a West Coast hub for the brand to showcase its values. Along with art and design, that includes artistic partnerships (past collaborators include fashion designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood) and sustainability. All Melissa shoes are predominantly made with 100 percent recyclable and vegan material.
‘’With Melissa’s arrival in Los Angeles and the expansion of our brand’s presence in the international scenario, Melissa is committed to emphasizing and highlighting the role of sustainability in all our projects and efforts,” Melissa’s global manager Raquel Scherer told WWD in an exclusive statement. “We aim to create an unforgettable, unique experience for each customer visiting our new store. They will have access and information about the raw materials used to make Melissa shoes, about our brand’s initiatives, and focus on promoting a circular economy. Just like all of our [over] 300 exclusive stores around the world, the new Century City store will also count on a shoe recycling bin, where customers will be encouraged to discard their post-use Melissa products so they can be recycled and made into new shoes.”
The company launched its recycling program, “Conscious Consumption,” last year, and in October, it unveiled its first shoe made entirely from recycled material, the “Melissa Flox M” design.
“This launch marked a crucial step in our sustainability journey, and still, it is just the beginning,” continued Scherer. “We have many core sustainable projects for 2021, which includes the launch of our second 100 percent recycled style and an exclusive collection with a special composition of 50 percent recycled material from factory waste and 30 percent renewable carbon content. The L.A. opening also marks our international expansion plan for 2021 with more than 10 exclusive store openings in the USA and Asia.”
To celebrate its L.A. expansion, Melissa has partnered with creative directors M. Czerwinski and Cybelle Bradford for its #MeetMelissa campaign, a photo series celebrating 30 young creatives and paying homage to the youth of L.A. Shots of the project are displayed at the Century City store, open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.