The innovative Brazilian plastic footwear brand dominates its category
With 40 years of history, Melissa is a pioneer in the plastic shoes segment. The brand has come a long way since its early days, going from simple models inspired by fishermen’s shoes in the south of France to heavyweight design collaborations with names like Vivienne Westwood, Zaha Hadid and Karim Rashid.
The colorful footwear is making a strong comeback this season, and Melissa is aiming towards high-end “plastic dreams”, leaving the copycats to vie for the commodity segment. The strategy seems to be working well, with products reaching roughly 60 countries and worldwide recognition growing continuously.
The brand benefited from the 2008 crisis, when customers began seeing in Melissa a mix of style, fashion and design, all at an affordable price. With a number of new collaborations with designers such as Isabela Capeto, Jean Paul Gaultier and J Maskrey (among others), Melissa reinforces that positioning.
And while some may argue that plastic shoes are not exactly “green”, Michele Levy, Melissa’s US CEO, doesn’t see it that way:
“Melissa is a pioneer in its field and is unique in design, technology, and comfort. We are the only company in the world dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of plastic shoes for the last 40 years. We can make them like nobody else. Quality in design, fashion, eco-friendliness is our motto. That you don’t find in China.”
Melissa shoes are made from a single material, melflex, which is molded via an injection process. This means that the factory has almost zero waste, glue is not required and the shoes are 100% recyclable. Appearances can be deceiving.