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By Thaís Britto, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This is the last week to check “MelissaEU!”, the exhibition that celebrates the 30th anniversary of one of the most famous fashion icons in Brazil. Melissa shoes started their history in 1979 with the release of “Aranha” model, obligatory item girls in the 80’s.

Zaha Hadid design for Brazilian plastic shoe brand Melissa, photo by SocialisBetter/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Since then, the brand has earned respect in the fashion business, established partnerships with celebrated designers, architect and stylists, besides having developed its products along with the consumers.

The exhibition is open until November 15th in Solar Real, a colonial mansion from the 19th century in Santa Teresa, with seventeen rooms that summarize all there is to know about the brand that gave to the world around 500 types of shoes in the last thirty years.

The exhibition is directed by Erika Palomino, famous journalist and fashion editor, who has been working as creative consultant for Melissa for the past six years. Another celebrated professional on the team is the scenographer Maneco Quinderé, who designed the lighting. For the director, the relationship Melissa has with consumers is special.

“Now we are celebrating both the history of Melissa as the fact that the brand is part of so many people’s life over three decades, in a very exciting way. It’s an occasion that also celebrates the growth that Melissa is living both in numbers and in image-building, nationally and internationally, with a collaborative, intelligent, passionate and committed work by all members of the team. That’s what makes Melissa enter its 30’s but still in a very good shape,” tells Erika.

The room "Collection jewels". Photo by InPress
The room "Collection jewels", photo by InPress.

The exhibition starts outside: the balcony displays a replica of “Aranha 79”, the first creation. In the trees are hanging the “Rocking Horse Wings” and the hearts of “Lady Dragon”, both models signed by stylist Vivienne Westwood, and the swimming pool has around 3,000 miniature versions of the shoes. One of the major attractions of the show is the opposite: a giant version of the sample designed by the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.

Inside the mansion, the exhibit continues with rooms like “Melissa Genesis”, where PVC bags and colored pigments present the components used in the manufacture of the shoes, “High fashion”, a partnership with Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Thierry Mugler in which are the samples created by them along with some videos and photos of their work. Some of Melissa’s historical models will be at the room “Collection jewels”, decorated with a fountain that pours pink “multi-fruit aromatized” water. This aroma is a signature characteristic of Melissa shoes, famous for their “tutti-frutti bubble gum” scent.

This Wednesday, November 11th, the exhibition will also host some lectures. At 5PM, Maria Montero, the curator, will talk about contemporary art and its relation to the brand. At 6PM, Paulo Pedó and Edson Matsuo (Melissa managers) will discuss the 30 years of the shoes and, at 7PM, Erika Palomino talks about fashion.

MelissaEU!
October 28th to November 15th.
Solar Real – Rua Aprazível 39, Santa Teresa.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10AM to 6PM. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10AM to 10PM.
Free entrance.
More info in the blog

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