THE INTERVIEW: Melissa Fleis, Fashion Designer April 23, 2012 – Posted in: News & Press – Tags:

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We’re kicking off the week with a new THE INTERVIEW, and we’re so excited to share this one with you. We spoke with Melissa Fleis, a Fashion Designer in San Francisco (Update: Melissa is currently competing on Project Runway). She’s one of those effortlessly cool ladies whose energy translates into her designs. The looks you see her wearing are her own creations, and we can’t wait to see what she does next. Enjoy THE INTERVIEW with the talented Melissa Fleis.

Tell us about yourself and what you do.

I recently received my MFA in fashion design from the Academy of Art University, and I am currently working full-time as the Marketing Director, and sales associate at the San Francisco women’s boutique, Downtown. In my spare time, I’m usually listening to music, designing, watching films, researching, collaging, taking and editing photos, as well as hiking.

What is the average day like for an aspiring fashion designer?

Life has changed a great deal for me since graduation. I have found more freedom in my work and inspiration – and I seem to be constantly refining my vision, and artistic identity. In a typical day, you will find me waking up early and having my morning smoke with some tea, checking my emails, reading websites like the Huffington post and WWD, and then getting ready for work. During my lunch break, I often write and sketch in my journal – or end up running errands, and checking out other stores in the neighborhood. After a full day, I like to walk, stretch, and do yoga, preparing dinner – and it’s back to work on my designs and art.  Occasionally I’ll skip working, and get wrapped up in a period piece, or BBC saga. One thing I’m loving right now is being able to just sit, knit, and watch an epic film. I end my day at around midnight, reading in bed. I’m currently hooked on the book Dancing Barefoot, about Patti Smith.

Melissa Fleis in her own design

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Artisanal, underground – a little macabre.

What are some of your favorite labels?

Ann Demeulemeester, Julius, Rick Owens, Guidi, Barbara I Gongini, Alessandra Marchi, If Six Was Nine, m.a+, Marc Le Bihan, and CCP.

If you could only wear one label for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ann Demeulemeester

Do you follow any blogs daily?

some lash things magazine
dirty flaws
style zeitgeist
fashion flux
grey the blog
purple diary
the divinitus
refinery 29
the bold italic

What was your last splurge?

Special ordering a pair of black leather combat boots from the oldest ( and my personal favorite ) leather manufacturer in Italy, Guidi.

What is your skincare routine?

In the morning, I will only wash my face with cold water, and use an exfoliant 2-3 times/week. After that I spritz the YÜLI Cocoon Elixir on my face, then apply La Roche-Posay Redermic+ creme, the Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizing lotion with SPF, followed by Aesop Parsley Seed eye serum. In the evening, I remove my makeup with good old fashioned cold creme, lightly wash my face in cold water with Avalon Organics COQ10 facial cleansing milk, and then spray the YÜLI Cocoon Elixir on my face, followed with an application of the YÜLI Modern Alchemist Serum.

What do you look for in skincare?

I look for great quality and effective ingredients that are suitable for my skin type. I am a firm believer in the beauty that organic and natural oils can provide my skin. Serums are critical for my routine. I also like to include a good anti-aging moisturizer in my regime. In the end, what usually makes me purchase and adhere to a skincare line is if it truly makes my skin look, and feel the best it can be.

What are your favorite YÜLI products?

YÜLI Cocoon Elixir &  YÜLI Modern Alchemist Serum

Why do you like and use YÜLI?
I use YÜLI because of its commitment to providing the highest quality natural ingredients that are effective. There is a noticeable difference in my skin after using their products, and that is exactly what I am looking for. Also, the different scents from the ingredients in each product are incredibly beautiful.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Ideally? Living in a castle in the English country side. Realistically? Working on my brand, and my dream.

How can people learn more about you and your designs?

My website,, is currently in it’s developmental stages right now – however I plan on including some of my past photo shoots, individual stills of my garments, and links to my fellow collaborators, and friends – such as perfume designer Yosh Han.

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