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SALE RACK

Brazilian shoe company's simple formula: Plastic is fantastic

Melissa, which claims to have made more than 120 million shoes in 500 styles over the past three decades, is tapping into the design community and also introducing a line for men.

June 21, 2009|Max Padilla

Brazil's most famous fashion exports are its supermodels (Gisele Bundchen and current fave Raquel Zimmerman), but sartorially the country is known for its beachy swimwear (Rosa Cha), flip-flops (Havaianas) and Melissa plastic sandals.

Melissa, based in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state, has been making jellies for more than 30 years and its collection has grown from the familiar flats to pumps and booties with faux velvet detail. A men's line of plastic sandals is to debut in stores next spring. Though still gaining recognition in the U.S., the shoemaker claims to have made more than 120 million shoes in 500 styles over the past three decades.

Lately, the shoe brand has been tapping into the design community, collaborating with guru Karim Rashid, architect Zaha Hadid and, most recently, with the artists and fellow Brazilians Fernando and Humberto Campana. (The Campana brothers' sustainable shoes are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, priced at $79.) In fashion, the shoemaker currently is collaborating with Vivienne Westwood's Anglomania on a new collection that will be in stores in August ($115 to $160) and with Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch.

For those who haven't worn plastic sandals since the 1980s and remember it as a sometimes clammy experience, Melissa has trademarked a foot-friendly, thermo-malleable and flexible plastic. All the shoes are partially made with recycled materials -- the Campana brothers shoes feature 30% recycled PVC -- and can be recycled themselves. Most of the collection retails for less than $150. "The shoes are affordable luxury," says Michele Levy, president and chief executive of Melissa USA. "It's the pleasure of walking into a store and finding something chic and stylish you can afford."

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, 9600 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 275-4211. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and Friday. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa (714) 540-3233. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

www.saksfifthavenue.com

www.melissaplasticdreams.com

EVENTS

Robert Graham Today and Monday: For Father's Day, Ron Robinson at Fred Segal is hosting designer Robert Stock and introducing his signature woven shirts in colorful prints plus sport coats, ties and cuff links. There is also a gift with purchase (while supplies last) and a drawing for a $500 Robert Graham wardrobe or a gift basket from Apothia at Fred Segal that includes furnishings (dress shirt, tie, cuff links).

500 Broadway, Santa Monica. (310) 394-1271. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.

www.robertgraham.us

OPENINGS

LuxLash Boston salon that bills itself as the nation's first eye spa -- lashes and brows -- opens its first West Coast location in Beverly Hills. Housed in a retro 1940s-inspired space, LuxLash offers eyebrow shaping ($40), Botox (from $550), Eyebrite for under-eye circles ($100) and its signature swim-proof eyelash extensions (starting at $295) that come in a variety of lengths and colors and can last for as long as two months.

9640A S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 273-5274. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

www.luxlash.com

SALES

Opening Ceremony Ongoing: Trend-setting boutique is having a summer storewide and online sale, 30% to 70% off retail. Labels on offer, for men and women, include Alexander Wang, Acne, Band of Outsiders, Rodarte, Nom de Guerre, Patrick Ervell, Vena Cava, Jeremy Scott, United Bamboo and Rachey Comey.

451 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 652-1120. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

www.openingceremony.us

Decadestwo Shoe Sale Saturday: If you still clamor for the "it" shoe, you're in luck with this designer label extravaganza (the last was in January). "It" shoe deals include $125 Pierre Hardy shoes (retail price $937), $125 Lanvin ballet flats ($978) plus brand-new Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks for $95. All other labels will be 50% off. Limit two pairs of shoes per purchase to spread the savings around.

8214 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 655-1960. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

www.decadestwo.com

SPA

Glen Ivy Saturday and ongoing through Aug. 31: On Saturday, to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Glen Ivy's Valencia spa, the historic retreat is offering free Grotto Body treatments to the first 25 guests plus skin scanner consultations, product samples, a raffle prize drawing, hors d'oeuvres and beverages. The Valencia and Brea locations also are offering a $149 summer spa sampler: a 20-minute massage, 20-minute facial, 25-minute manicure and 25-minute pedicure. All locations, including Corona, are offering the $289 Regeneration series targeted toward mothers and daughters and featuring a pack of three facials, a home care kit and skin-care consultation.

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