My Sao Paulo hotel was just around the corner from the high-end shopping street of Rua Oscar Freire, which is reminiscent of LA’s Beverly Hills. This shopping area is lined with expensive shops on both sides of the street. The shops are interspersed with swanky Soho-esque restaurants, which have security men in black suits guarding the doors. I wasn’t sure if the extra security was to keep the riff-raff out, or to stop the patrons from doing a dine ‘n dash. Either way, these men in black added an additional layer of prestige and mystique to Oscar Freire.
This is the perfect street for window shopping, and I hadn’t intended to step inside any of the shops, but then I reached “Melissa”. The exterior this shop was a wall-to-wall mural, of sugar-sweet street art.
The sign on the wall is “Galeria Melissa”, and I was fooled into thinking this was some type of street-art gallery I was being enticed into.
The loose style of this feminine graffiti, looked like a 4-year old had broken into her mum’s makeup drawer and defaced the walls with explosions of colour.
I couldn’t wait to take a look inside the rest of the Gallery, but I was in for a surprize. This Gallery was actually a shoe shop; with an interior that was a homage to the Barbarella era.
There were no shelves of shoes here; Instead samples are displayed in glass pod bubbles at the end of sixties-inspired display stands, suspended from the ceiling.
Although there was a few shoe samples scattered around the base of the stands, the main way to browse the styles offered is through the bubbles, or log into one of the on-line catalogues at the video terminals provided.
Melissa merges the retro-futuristic sixties vibe, with Barbie girl glamour, and the convenience of on-line browsing into one modern retail experience.
When you find a shoe that captures your imagination, one of the fashionista assistants will bring it in your size to try on.
You won’t find leather or suede shoes on sales at Melissa; each of their products are made of plastic, and here’s a couple of styles that caught my eye:
…. but my credit cards stayed firmly in my wallet.
I just left with a smile on my face, and some photos to remind me of my moment in time at her Galeria.
If you visiting Sao Paulo, take a look to see how the Galeria has reinvented itself. Your encounter at Melissa will be different than mine, because the wall mural and interior art is updated every three months.
[important]Address: Rua Oscar Freire, 867 – Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo, 01426-001, Brazil[/important]