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NYFW to Rio: Melissa CEO Michele Levy on the Busy Year Ahead

When celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry want playful, statement-making fashion, they go to designer Jeremy Scott. When Jeremy Scott wants playful, statement-making footwear, he goes to Melissa Shoes.

On Monday the designer, known for his eclectic pop culture references and fearless use of color, unveiled two plastic styles he and Melissa co-created for his Spring ’16 New York Fashion Week show. The styles, a high heel mule and slick ankle boot, resembled inflatable pool toys with clear plastic nozzles accenting the side and back.

The Jeremy Scott x Melissa Shoes line was made available for purchase the next day on Tuesday at Melissa stores in New York, London and Sao Paolo, and at high-end fashion stores including Colette in Paris, 10 Corso Como in Milan and Alchemist in Miami.

In addition to offering shoes straight from the runway, the Brazilian footwear brand is busy preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Melissa Shoes CEO Michele Levy says the brand has many activities planned around the global event. “It’s our hometown and the cradle of our collection,” she explained.

Vamp caught up with Levy to learn more about the Melissa’s Spring ’16 collection, the inspiration behind the designs and how the company is getting ready for an exciting 2016.

Vamp: What is the inspiration for the rest of the Melissa Spring ’16 line?
Levy: 2016 is Brazil’s year. With the onset of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the collection is all about Rio. It’s called Melissa ‘Carioca’, which is the local name for people born in Rio. The inspiration is the free spirit, fun and innate fashion that the women from Rio have.

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Vamp: Is the brand introducing any new silhouettes?
Levy: We are introducing mini wedges and platforms in this collection. Comfort with fashion—so you can strut your stuff in the streets with confidence and happiness as if you were in Rio.

Vamp: How is color incorporated into this theme?
Levy: [Our] colors shine and bring out the best in every woman. Nudes and mint are present throughout the collection, as well as oranges and pinks.

Vamp: How is Melissa addressing the athleisure trends?
Levy: We launched our ultra-successful Melissa Love System back in the ’90s. It’s a fun fashion sneaker that is currently being relaunched as Love System now… You can dress it up or down. And with its unique technology and aesthetic it is light enough for summer days and warm enough for the fall. It can take you from beach to restaurant, to party to barbecue.

Melissa Love System

Vamp: Do you think the Olympics will help Brazilian brands?
Levy: Absolutely. The Olympics, as a global event, gives us the opportunity to have our country in the spotlight and with it the ability to show our unique treasures, such as Melissa Shoes. We will have special merchandise for the event and special new collaborations. Stay tuned.