A much buzzed-about name to watch, Lourenço showed his first ready-to-wear collection in Paris to critical acclaim when he was just 19. Born into a fashion family–both his mother and father are established designers in Sao Paulo–Lourenço grew up in factories, sketching, sewing, and taking in shows in Paris. When most seven-year-olds were learning to ride a bike or playing video games or doing whatever it is that that most seven-year-olds do, Lourenço was taking in his first Comme des Garçons show in Paris. “It was in 1997,” he told us at a dinner to fete the collaboration at Indochine. “There were just 80 people, no music, and in my opinion it was the last big change in the silhouette in fashion.”
Lourenço’s collaboration with Melissa marks the first time he’s ever produced shoes. “I normally do shoes for my own shows but they’re never produced,” Lourenço said. When asked if he’d like to continue making shoes he didn’t hesitate: “Yeah, definitely.”
He’s designed two styles for Melissa: a sandal with an ankle strap ($175) and a ballet flat ($90), both of which come in a variety of colorways (the flats come in gradient colors, bold at the heel and nearly white or clear at the toe). They’re some of the chic-er, sleeker, and least bubble-gum-y designs I’ve seen from Melissa. The shoes are on display now at Melissa’s SoHo Galeria (102 Greene St.), as part of an installation curated by Maria Montero.
As for what’s up next from the now 21-year-old designer he says he’s trying to look more to the street. He says his latest resort collection has a real military look, only switch out the olive drab for pink hues and the tough cotton for silk zibeline and you’ve got the right idea. “It’s all about couture and polish for me,” he said. “My biggest challenge is to look to the street now.” Lourenço told us he’s taking his first vacation in three years in LA this month. So who knows, maybe we’ll see a little laid back surf style in his next collection…
Click through to see Melissa x Pedro Lourenço and the Resort 2013 collection.