Famed for their candy fragranced plastic shoes, the Melissa brand are about to become known for more than their plastic footwear. The brand began in 1979 with creative director and head of research and development Edson Matsuo and has now sold over 50 million pairs of shoes over 50 different countries worldwide, each ‘plastic dream’ design is unique with a story of its own and a great example of plastic architectural design. A favourite with many celebrities, the brand has seen some hugely successful collaborations with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld and Kate Moss.
With flagship stores in NYC and their native Sao Paolo, Brazil, Galeria Melissa London becomes the third galeria to open worldwide. The imaginative initial store concept was devised by acclaimed Brazilian designer Muti Randolph and brought to life by renowned architectural and retail design practice, IDL. MJ Lighting were approached by IDL to provide lighting solutions for the ambitious in-store art installations.
The new Covent Garden store, the first Melissa store to open in the UK, features a number of art installations inspired by light, movement and colour. As you enter the store you are greeted with a kinetic art installation formed of 21 illuminated acrylic shoe boxes. In each box sits one of the iconic plastic shoes illuminated by Applelec’s LED Light Sheet which is built into the roof of the box. The shoe boxes hang from the ceiling, each moving independently through an integrated Rako solution to the stores eclectic soundtrack.
In the largest space of the Galeria sits an impressive u-shaped sculpture, the tunnel wall. This wall features a rigid formation of 64 apertures covered in a layer of mirrored glass. Behind the wall of glass are 64 display cases housing a range of Melissa shoes, each box clad with Corian and illuminated inside using LED Light Sheet which is once again built into the roof of each box. MJ Lighting’s newly launched Flex Wave product was used to depict the clean line of each aperture.
Photography: Melvyn Vincent www.melvynvincent.com