Our latest #couchseries with Melissa Mercedes

This Los Angeles Based Designer Sits Down to Talk All Things Size & Female Inclusive in Our Latest Interview

Melissa Mercedes featured in Forbes, top right. Melissa and Ariel in Melissa's designs at her studio, left. Laverne Cox in one of Melissa's dresses bottom right. 

Melissa Mercedes featured in Forbes, top right. Melissa and Ariel in Melissa's designs at her studio, left. Laverne Cox in one of Melissa's dresses, bottom right.


Melissa Mercedes is a Los Angeles based designer. She's been in business since 2018 and has grown a steady following of women in Hollywood. I met her recently when I styled a dear friend of mine, Melissa Chataigne, for the Oscars. My friend and client, Melissa Chataigne, is a tall curvy woman and the options available to her were few and far between for the red carpet. We found success with Melissa Mercedes’ design. We nailed the night and received accolades for how glamorous she looked! Since that time, I became more intrigued with Mercedes' work and I wanted to know more. As the Lifestyle Editor for The Sustainable Stylish Life on SameSide, I couldn't resist inviting her to be featured to highlight her inclusive designs. Her ethos aligns with all we stand for at SameSide. I sat down with Melissa in her studio while donning some of her glamourous designs pictured above and in the interview below. I hope you enjoy this installment of our #couchseries interview series and get to know a bit more about Melissa Mercedes' important work. 



 

How She Got Here:

 

In speaking to Melissa and learning the history of her brand, I am so inspired! It’s rare to see somebody nail the cover of People Magazine En Español on their first design! That’s an amazing feat! Melissa’s trajectory is so encouraging to all budding designers out there.

 

On Dressing Celebrities & Winning Awards:

 

Her line is only 4 years old but in that short time, she has dressed some of the plus size industry’s biggest stars like Tess Holiday and Laverne Cox. She recently won The Cultivate Award sponsored by The Curvy Fashionista and Eloquii for a $10,000 grant and a year of mentorship to help her business grow. She will also be designing a collaboration collection with Eloquii to launch in Spring of 2022. This will give Melissa the opportunity to reach consumers she hasn't yet been able to. 

 

Inclusive Sizing:

 

Her genuine interest in helping other women who are outside of what most fashion lines cater to came from her own struggle with finding a dress to wear to the Grammy’s. We are all grateful she did so (!) but it does beg the question of when will the fashion industry offer more options??? From my time at 11 Honoré, I have gained an indepth perspective on the lack of options for these women. 11 Honoré, Melissa Mercedes, Eloquii and a handful of others continue to be the only few options in the luxury space working to offer plus size women more clothing and glamour. We certainly require more options to dress what is now upwards of 60% of the US population.  

 

Catering to Her Community:

 

Melissa has found her creative balance in Los Angeles and although her New York City roots run deep, she plans to call Los Angeles home for the foreseeable future as her business grows. There is a large need for her in Hollywood to dress the curvier women out there who cannot find options as easily as others. In speaking to her, I found her honesty and warmth refreshing. She is easy to talk to and I can see how seamlessly she interacts with her clients. She is building her following one woman at a time. 

You can follow Melissa on her IG @melissamercedesofficial and on her website here. I have no doubt she will be a household name soon. 


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