We're thrilled that meli melo is now available as part of our new British Design Hub. We sat down with Melissa to discover what it takes to arrive at the perfect bag, how she navigates running a company with a busy family life and what we can expect from her new range, including the release of a devilishly naughty bag named... Kitty!
Your beautiful bags have been enjoyed by stylish women all over the world. What feeling do you hope to give to your clients as they wear your designs?
Handbags have become a unique fashion statement of a woman's status. My goal is to keep bringing high quality “Made in Italy” products with a contemporary style to make the customer feel they have a valuable, artisanal, and beautiful handbag in their hands.
Define the Meli Melo style, if you can put your finger on it?
With Meli Melo I try to combine the classic, timeless leather, mixed with my Italian style along with the London design cool. In my collection you can always find inspirational details coming from the islands where I was born and raised off the coast of the amazing Sicily.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I still absolutely love drawing on paper, with a pencil or a pen and I am inspired by the smallest of things from interiors, something I see when travelling or just something funny my children can say can inspire a whole new trend in design.
Sometimes I find myself drawing with an eye-liner or even a khol eye pencil because, you know, inspiration arrives when you are least expecting it!
The details are stunning, how technical do you have to be to manage the production of your designs?
I always start from a sketch and from there I’ll work on the practicality of the idea and I follow the production from the prototype to the realization of the final design, the whole process can take 9 months end to end and a lot of changes can happen during that time.
Describe your typical day in sunny Notting Hill as a busy mum and entrepreneur.
My busy day starts at 7 am, my son or daughter will normally wake us up, and there is this mad rush to get the breakfast for my family. At 8 I take my kids to school, at which point I have time to see friends before I start work at the office in Notting Hill, at 9am, where I work on the new collection with my team. At lunchtime, I love to escape and do Yoga before grabbing a healthy lunch. Then it is back to work for a few hours, before turning into taxi driver and rushing the kids to after school clubs, like tennis or guitar lessons. Sometimes I take them with me in the office and they help me with drawing, it’s very funny and a good family moment, I hope my team don’t mind too much.
Do you have a good support network to tackle those tricky decisions?
I am very pleased and proud of my team, they are all hard workers and together we let the magic happen. We have amazing investors and I work with my husband, which takes an amazing relationship we are lucky to have.
What are your goals for 2019?
We are very excited for the launch of the new PREAW19 collection, we made an amazing campaign inspired by the Joshua Tree. We will also launch new bags and we are looking forward to seeing our customer reaction! I can tell you just the name of the bag.. Kitty.. she is a devil.
How did you come across TROY and what is your favourite TROY piece?
I absolutely love the TROY Long Dungarees in Fern! It’s a versatile cloth that you can wear if you’re out playing with the kids but also on the high street with high heels and a meli melo bag on the shoulder, of course!