Melissa Shoes has mounted two artist installations within its SoHo store.
The Brazilian rubberized shoe company has teamed with Rachel Rossin and Cecilia Salama on special works on display through May.
Rossin’s video piece is played on massive pixelated screens that comprise the Melissa store lobby.
Salama installed an immersive experience inside a petite stand-alone room — surrounding shoppers with her conceptual, visualized play on themes like migration, eco-diversity, femininity and identity politics.
“Melissa presented me a lot of material on their new collection, called Mapping — a lot of it had to do with borders. I managed to relate this to a theme I use a lot in my work, which are butterflies. They possess both power and vulnerability — I started doing a lot of research about their migratory journey and learned they are one of the largest symbols of immigration right now,” the artist explained of her piece, titled “Danaus Plexippus.”
Salama’s work has a souvenir component — the installation offers a butterfly-shaped “seed bomb” to visitors. The tiny objects are inlaid with milk thistle seeds, and when planted, they grow to become a plant enjoyed by butterflies as a source of shelter and food.
For Melissa, the installations offer a dual purpose: the chance to support emerging artists while also offering a unique experience for shoppers.
“Much of the Melissa brand DNA is realized in free self-expression; to be able to give young, talented artists this platform has been important to us. We choose to work with artists who are pushing boundaries and breaking into new innovative mediums. Both Rossin and Salama are using new methods that test the boundaries of what is considered to be art,” said Melissa’s business director Raquel Metz Scherer.
“This strategy has been important to Melissa’s overall retail approach because we consider Melissa to be a celebration of design and love collaboration. We want to be sure that the stores are also an experience to our customers, and that they reflect the innovation and creativity that is shown season after season with the collection. They are a tool to keep customers engaged with our narrative,” she added.