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Fashion 411: Melissa Fleis

Runway Lansing
Event organized by Runway Lansing

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Join us at The Runway as we hear from Melissa Fleis, a 3 time Project Runway alum, as she describes her start in the fashion industry and the challenges of establishing your brand.

Originally hailing from Michigan, Melissa has been living in California for over ten years. After obtaining her BA from the University of Michigan, she later went on to pursue her MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has studied under former Alexander McQueen advisor Simon Ungless, as well as apprenticed as a pattern maker and cutter in Italy for fashion designer Alessandra Marchi.

Shortly afterwards, Melissa was selected to participate in Lifetime’s Project Runway Season 10, where she advanced to show her collection as a top three finalist at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. One year later Melissa again returned to New York City to compete on Project Runway All Stars, Season 3.

Melissa started her business creating custom leather jackets for private clients which she continues to do today. She has been able to scale her business to incorporate that same custom touch in her ready-to-wear line; designed and produced exclusively in Los Angeles.

Inspired by art movements such as Bauhaus and Dada - she expertly melds urban versatility with a modern artisanal edge.
Meticulously selecting raw materials that are as pleasing to the hand as they are to the eye, Melissa strives to create a series of core, integral pieces that could be seamlessly combined from day to night - and for years to come.
Melissa's vision translates across multiple mediums, and she is continually sought out for design partnership opportunities. You can find her work here.

About Fashion 411
The Fashion 411 speaker series is designed to highlight individuals sharing their stories of success as well as their failures. Learning from others is critical to the success of budding entrepreneurs and this series is designed to motivate, inspire, and teach start-ups in the fashion industry and beyond.