Runway | October 6, 2017
Melissa Fleis is an American fashion designer based in Los Angeles.
Creating bold, architectural silhouettes that combine statement with wearability, Fleis brings incredible ease and versatility to modern dressing.
Meticulously selecting raw materials that are as pleasing to the hand as they are to the eye, Melissa strives to create garments that evoke a sense of confidence, and intuitiveness for her client.
Inspired by art movements such as Bauhaus and Dada – she expertly melds urban versatility with a modern artisanal edge.
After numerous years in fashion retail, Melissa noticed that there was a pronounced lack of seasonless, “staple” pieces missing from the modern woman’s wardrobe. She strives to create a series of core, integral pieces that could be seamlessly combined from day to night – and for years to come.
Originally hailing from Michigan, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan – Melissa was dedicated to learning the fashion business from the ground up. She returned to school at the age of 27 to earn her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. She studied under former Alexander McQueen advisor Simon Ungless. Fleis later honed her craft as an apprentice pattern maker and cutter in Italy for fashion designer Alessandra Marchi.
Shortly afterwards, Melissa was selected to participate in Lifetime’s Project Runway Season 10, where she advanced to show her collection as a top three finalist at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. One year later Melissa again returned to New York City to compete on Project Runway All Stars, Season 3.
Melissa started her business hand making custom leather jackets for private clients. She has been able to scale her business to incorporate that same custom touch in her ready to wear line – designed and produced exclusively in Los Angeles.
Melissa’s vision translates across multiple mediums, and she is continually sought out for partnership opportunities. Successfully executing her aesthetic in collaborations with many lifestyle, hospitality, and skincare brands proves she understands how to merge both design and functionality.