CollageCollage Magazine


CollageCollage Magazine

On September 23rd, she's back in San Francisco

Meet the designer topped WWD's "Ones to Watch from LA's Fall '16 Contemporary Market".
Purchase limited edition, hand-made staple items that will travel with you through every season.

Bold, architectural silhouettes with a modern, artisanal edge.
Wearable architecture for women.
Inspired by Bauhaus and Dada.

With black,
the combinations are infinite.


From SF to LA, Melissa Fleis is making waves in the City of Angels fashion scene. Since receiving her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Melissa has been a power house. After studying with former Alexander McQueen advisor Simon Ungless, Melissa spent her Fall/Winter 2012 season in Lucca, Italy interning under Italian fashion designer Alessandra Marchi. Shortly afterwards, Melissa was selected to participate in Lifetime’s Project Runway Season 10, where she went on to show her collection as a finalist in the “top three” at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.



SM: What is your background?
MF: Beauty and fashion

SM: How did you come to found Melissa Fleis?
MF: I started my brand as soon as I returned from filming Project Runway Season 10. People kept requesting that I make them something to wear – so I started with custom leather jackets and built it from there.

SM: What is it that most excites you about the work you do? What part of your process is most exhilarating?
MF: I love seeing my original concepts and designs come to life. Finding new sources of inspiration ( although not easy ) is always exhilarating for me as well.

SM: What do you do to “re-fuel” your creativity?
MF: Sleep and travel

SM: We at the NWBLK believe that most people interested in architecture and design are also interested in other pursuits like food, fashion, music and technology. How do these things weigh in to the way that you think about your creative endeavors?
MF: All of these things impact me in one way or another. Music and architecture particularly play large roles in my creative process.

SM: Who’s work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
MF: Rei Kawakubo

SM: Who’s work most fascinates, inspires or repels you and motivates you to action?
MF: Rei Kawakubo

SM: In what ways do you give back to your greater community? Do you teach or are you involved in sponsored events or fundraising? Do you have a charitable cause that you like to contribute to financially or otherwise?
MF: I’ve taught classes in trend forecasting at City College, visited elementary schools, and contributed to panel discussions at UC Berkeley. I show in local charity based fashion shows like the Junior League and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Cancer Program.

SM: Many people that we talk to have said the travel is very important to their inspiration. Are there places that you like to go for inspiration?

MF: I seek inspiration from the typical places of inspiration like art exhibitions and nature. However, my main source of inspiration comes from visiting Europe, whether it is Berlin, Antwerp, Amsterdam or Florence. London is next on my list. I still can’t believe I haven’t been there.

SM: Do you attend tradeshows or fares; fashion week etc. when you travel?
MF: I’m jumping on the pop-up shop bandwagon at the moment. However, I am currently showing my collections at Austin and Dallas Fashion Week, as well as through charitable organizations like Junior League and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Cancer Program.

SM: What are your favorite magazines? Digital or print?
MF: i-D, Oyster, Tirade, AnOther, LOVE, ZOO, Numero, Style Zeigeist

SM: What is your favorite color?
MF: At the moment it’s Metallic Midnight Blue – but I do LOVE black.

SM: What’s the NWBLK?
MF: NWBLK is a place where modern artists can showcase their work, and collaborate with other like-minded individuals within a curated space.

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