The first thing you’ll notice as you walk into the new Melissa pop store is the smell of Jelly Bellies. Or perhaps Jolly Ranchers.

“It’s the shoes,” says Ana Silva, Melissa Pop president. And it's not just the smell. In addition to the footware’s signature tutti-fruitti fragrance, each brightly colored shoe looks like a piece of candy propped against the white backdrop of the small shop.

The fact is, a strong resemblence to candy may be the only thing that can get me into a pair of heels. I hate wearing shoes. I mean, I love shoes as objets d’art, but I just really, really prefer to be barefoot. Nine months of the year, my feet are shod in the easiest shoes I can find—typically  barely-there sandals or flats.  

But when you live in sandals, it’s sometimes hard to look totally put together. Which is why I’m psyched about the new Melissa Pop store that opened last month in Uptown Park.

The 40-year-old Brazilian shoe company basically launched the “jelly shoe” style, but these aren’t the jellies of your childhood. Melissa shoes vary from dainty high heels to chunky clogs and lace-inspired flats. The Melissa Pop store (short for pop-up) is the first of its kind in Houston. 

To compare these shoes to candy is not to say that they look garish, and Melissa is known for collaborations with big-name designers. Some of the shoes, like those designed by Vivienne Westwood, evoke a punk aesthetic, with plastic cherry charms at the toes. The line designed by Jason Wu looks pretty and professional, fit for the First Lady.

The shoes have a bit of a cult following, Silva says. One of her Houston customers has more than 30 pairs. Silva has “no timeline” for how long she plans to stay open. Which means that if you want to start on your own 30-pair collection, you'd better hit up Melissa Pop quickly. In the next few weeks they’ll be getting in their next collaboration—a series of pumps designed by Karl Lagerfeld.

Melissa Pop is located in Uptown Park, next door to Champps Restaurant. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm and Thursday 10am to 8pm. Phone: 713-629-4444.

 

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