Brazilian footwear brand Melissa has re-established its place in New York’s Soho district with an experiential store concept that is part boutique, part art gallery — and all kinds of cool.
After spending about five years in a retail space in Greene Street, the label has now reopened in a larger flagship location at 500 Broadway. The new Galeria Melissa NYC was designed by Brazilian Muti Randolph, who was also the creative force behind the London and São Paolo concepts.
In crafting the look of the Broadway location, Randolph referenced some elements of the previous boutiques, but also incorporated design references for the local neighborhood and Melissa’s native country.
For instance, a live green wall in the back of the store is an ode to Brazil’s natural wonders. And the Greek columns that are used to display Melissa’s shoes mimic the architectural columns seen throughout Soho.
Like other Galeria locations, the store will stock styles from Melissa’s core women’s collection, as well as its collaborations with designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Jason Wu, Vitorino Campos and the Campana brothers.
In addition, it will host a rotating series of art exhibitions. The current installation is called “The Future of Her,” curated by Kelsey & Rémy Bennett and featuring work by Signe Pierce and Sam Cannon.
Raquel Metz Scherer, marketing director for Melissa, said, “The most important thing is to keep the store always alive with events and things happening all the time,” she said. “With all the Galerias we change our content and exhibitions three or four times per year, and this is something we will do in New York. We also will have events going on at the store at least six times a year, [including] a big event in September during the New York Fashion Week.”
She explained that in today’s challenging retail environment, brick-and-mortar stores still have an important role to play. “For us, the Galeria concepts are more of a marketing investment,” Scherer said. “We really think that involving the customer in the space where she can find all the content that the brand has, the whole collection, to speak with someone who could give more information about the brand, this has so much more value than an ad campaign or a digital video. This is something we still believe really connects with the consumer.”
Looking ahead, she added, Melissa could open additional Galeria concepts in the U.S. and Asia, though no further openings are planned for this year.
Scroll down to see more photos of the Soho location: