Ever since I moved to Australia in 2008 I have never gone back to Brazil. It’s crazy, and homesickness doesn’t even begin to describe what it feels like, but every now and then I find something that makes it more bearable. Walking into Melko for the first time was similar to what I imagine going home will be like. Located in bustling Fitzroy, the boutique is a slice of South America down under. I was welcomed by an array of colour, warmth and simple happiness as soon as I entered. It was as if the sun had decided to accompany me inside in an attempt to hide from the miserable weather on the street. I dropped my umbrella at the door and all of a sudden the colourful kaleidoscope had transported me back home.
The great team who works there had a lot to do with it, of course, making me feel very welcomed as they guided me through the store’s every offering. (A special thanks goes to the lovely Sarah who spent hours giving me a hand with everything. You’re a gem!) With a great selection of brands sourced directly from Brazil, it is no wonder that Melko has found a way to translate the Brazilian essence through clothes and accessories. From the very traditional Brazilian açaí beads, which are made into jewellery in a myriad different colours, to the clothes’ fabrics and shoe offerings, it all celebrates diversity and helps bring Melbourne fashion into a new international level.
Usually, I don’t identify with Brazilian fashion as much, even though I love it. I’m not a very colourful dresser, always prefer winter clothes to summer ones, and generally steer away from anything that looks handmade. Yet, I was still able to find things I loved and that complemented my wardrobe really well. I was already a fan of a few of the brands they stock, and the ones I discovered that day have become instant favourites. Some of them are: Totem, Farm, Uma, Mel by Melissa Shoes, Colcci, Arezzo and Tun.
That day I even learned how to wear my açaí beads necklace in ways I have never thought of before, and I am now finally able to incorporate them into looks that are more my style. My love of Mel Shoes is well-known, on the other hand, so it was also a lot of fun to be able to try on all of the new season’s styles, especially because unlike Melissa, Mel doesn’t have a physical store in Melbourne yet. And don’t even get me started on the jewellery, all made out of incredible materials such as rubber and recycled paper. I wanted to take them all home with me. In the next couple of weeks I plan of showing you different ways of styling the things I ended up choosing.
This family owned business has now expanded into four locations scattered throughout Melbourne. Wherever they are, their goal is to brighten the lives of locals by bringing them the best that South America’s designers have to offer. If you haven’t visited Melko yet, make sure you do, especially if you are after unique Christmas gifts. Here’s where you can find them:
18 Howey Place, Melbourne
3/232 Brunswick Road, Fitzroy
2/102 Gertrud Street, Fitzroy
2/599 Malvern Road, Hawksburn