The well-meaning middle aged man who urgently pressed his one word into the ear of Benjamin Braddock didn't make much of an impression on Dustin Hoffman's character in The Graduate. But apparently the Brazilian shoe manufacturer Melissa was listening in and took his advice to heart. Thirty years ago they launched a fashion footwear company that has evolved to create all of its wares from...you guessed it: plastics! And not some refinery reeking, ozone depleting, toxic petrochemical nightmare brew of organic compounds either. This noble brand is pointing the way forward in our increasingly green conscious culture by fabricating their shoes out of "a patented, hypo-allergenic, recyclable, and extremely flexible PVC" that they've dubbed MELFLEX. I gleaned that little tidbit from this article on inhabitat.com. And I have to say, the more I look into this company, the more I'm impressed. For example, their sustainable industry/environmentally friendly stance has attracted all sorts of celebrity guest designers. Vivienne Westwood turned quite a few heads (and opened a fair share of pocketbooks, too) with her Anglomania line.
Rising fashion star Alexandre Herchcovitch is making a name for himself on runways around the globe. He turned the Melissa line in a new direction with his decidedly androgynous oxfords.
While acclaimed British/Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid (whom you would have found on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2008) contributed her own modernist sensibilities to the ever growing Melissa line. Unfortunately, this photo doesn't do justice to the asymmetrical cut of the shoes or the unique buckle-less strap design.
Clearly this is a company that's making friends in high places. And thanks to our more ecologically enlightened midnset, the key to this success seems to be,...you guessed it: plastics!
What does all this have to do with you and me? Well, God love 'em, the men and women behind the scenes at Melissa haven't forgotten about us clog fans. Back in 2008 they launched a line of whimsically styled, intensely colorful clogs. Oddly enough, the shoe was named "Clogh". (I have no idea where the additional letter came from.) But no matter how you spell it, this sturdy shoe has a plenty to love about it. A bit lacking in the wooden construction department, but hey, this is Sensible Shoes Sunday. And what could be more sensible than an environmentally friendly shoe?
These photos courtesy of the Melissa Plastic Dreams web site. A quick Google search may turn up some remaining stock from various online retailers in sizes from S to XL. Flipping through the Melissa Collection via your browser can be fun, but if you really want to see these shoes in action, pay a visit to the Melissa YouTube channel. (Be sure to look for the Melissa Clogh in motion about 2:10 into this video.)
Oops! Forgot to mention something else that makes these manmade shoes so distinctive. The plastic is specially concocted to smell like bubblegum. Now there's a novel idea!