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Article: Melissa Makes Modern Art More Modern

Melissa Makes Modern Art More Modern

Melissa Makes Modern Art More Modern

The age-old question of the relevance of "old art" for the young (or young-at-heart) is even more confusing in the digital age. With information coming at us from all angles, how do we repackage artworks that have been around for hundreds of years for a new instagram-focussed viewer? How to educate and tell cherished stories but make it, well, fashion?

For brands now, it is not simply about the quality of the "product" but about the values behind it. It's about opening our eyes and making something that is local truly global. So Melissa, in their quest to combine fashion and art and wearability with technology have a new answer - wear it!

Essential to Melissa is the ability to tell stories dear to its Brazilian heritage, in order to set itself apart from other basic plastic shoes. We can see this in the past through collaborations with the Campana Brothers and their world-renowned Melissa Campana Papel and Zig Zag ballerina styles. But now Melissa has a new story to tell, and it's a tale of one of Brazil's most famous artists.

Tarsila do Amaral, the greatest female Brazilian modernist artist (1886 - 1973) was celebrated in 2019 in the largest retrospective of her incredible works at the Sao Paolo MASP gallery - which in itself is a feat of architectural engineering - to lines of young people eager to learn the history of her life and feel closer to their collective history.

In one day, more than 6000 vistors came to experience Tarsila's take on Brazilian life. In this exhibition, Tarsila was able to continue a creation of "Brazilianness", which really spoke to the younger generation. And with this Brazilianness comes a more global sense of togetherness - which is also something Melissa is all about.

What makes Tarsila so fascinating is that like Frida Kahlo, she had the "audacity" as a woman in the late 19th and early 20th century patriarchal society to forge her own artistic voice, and to tell new stories through the eyes of a woman. Female subjects frequently featured in her mystical, abstract artworks, which encompass the colours and beauty of the Brazilian landscape as well as the lives of ordinary country folk. Tarsila, then, is an important voice in the continuing women's movement - as valid now as it ever was.

And for the first time, Melissa is lending its shoes and bags as a canvas for these artworks. Using dyes imported from Japan, and working with the cloud style which uses monoblock technology to create a seamless shape, these prints curve over the foot but do not get distorted or lose their shape. And with their EVA foam insole, you can wear them literally anywhere.


What happens is the final products look incredibly modern in this new context. You can carry your ipad or wallet in a Melissa Canvas Bag printed with a Tarsila artwork and let these important works live your life, breathing a new energy, and telling a great story along the way.



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