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Observing the world. That's how our creative consultant Erika Palomino finds ideas to give birth to Melissa's collections. 

The journalist – one of the most important fashion writers in Brazil – has been creating by our side for more than a decade. 

She has a clever game: transforms trends, behaviors and places into inspiration. That’s how a trip to India and Italy became our Fall/Winter ’13 collection, Cine Melissa. The most Brazilian of souls became our Spring/Summer ’16, Wanna be Carioca. A form of expression is translated into plastic for our F/W ’16, Dance Machine.

“I have quite a broad scene as reference, that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with fashion.”

Directly from her office in São Paulo, Erika tells us what’s behind her creative process.

I live in the future: Two years ahead of time, everything needs to be defined so that all of the structure can align.


always keep my eyes, ears, and antenna tuned: I love what I do. To find new ideas in my daily routine, I read things from worlds that (theoretically) have nothing to do with design and fashion: from culinary arts to gardening. My head is never empty. I read all the time, see lots of movies, documentaries, Netflix and TV (which I love).

A collection's theme may come from a research trip: I travel abroad once or twice a year. The exchange of ideas or insights can be provoked by a place. It could also come from things I read, observe, or note in my day-to-day, that later are materialized in my travels. The first step though, is Melissa itself. What is the message we want to send, what do we want to say and how.

The process to pick a theme can take up to a year: Some themes are kicked around until I feel it's time to suggest them to the team. Some exist as desire and intention, but still need what we call "confirmation", or more time for the idea to mature. 

I have quite a broad scene as reference: I talk to the marketing team and present a destination proposal of where I want to travel and do research. I have quite a broad scene as reference, that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with fashion but with global behaviors, wants, and values.


Back home, I present these ideas in a long meeting – many times in a very abstract and conceptual way – to the marketing and product teams, trying to provoke inspiration. I can show videos, play music, show objects and books, all in addition to an enormous keynote.

"To find new ideas in my daily routine, I read things from worlds that (theoretically) have nothing to do with design and fashion: from culinary arts to gardening."
Near the launch, we dive deep into it: After approval, moments of diving deep into the theme happen together with the marketing and product teams. In parallel, development of the models, approval of the color palette, detailing, and naming of products all goes on until we arrive at a name for the collection itself. Then we have the convention, which is the first time that Melissa representatives from all around the world will see the products and place their orders. Afterwards, they all align for their arrival in stores and Galerias.

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