• Alicia Hardesty from Project Runway Season 10
  • Andrea Katz from Project Runway Season 10
  • Beatrice Guapo from Project Runway Season 10
  • Buffi Jashanmal from Project Runway Season 10
  • Christopher Palu from Project Runway Season 10
  • Dmitry Sholokhov from Project Runway Season 10
  • Elena Slivnyak from Project Runway Season 10
  • Fabio Costa from Project Runway Season 10
  • Gunnar Deatherage from Project Runway Season 10
  • Kooan Kosuke from Project Runway Season 10
  • Lantie Foster from Project Runway Season 10
  • Melissa Fleis from Project Runway Season 10
  • Raul Osorio from Project Runway Season 10
  • Sonjia Williams from Project Runway Season 10
  • Ven budhu from Project Runway Season 10

Melissa Fleis

31, San Francisco, CA

When did you realize you had designer potential?  Since I was a little girl. Q: First garment you ever made? 


What's your design training/schooling?

MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.

Have you won any awards?

No actual award. Only featured on websites.

Strengths as a designer?

A forward, distinct look with couture garment construction and experimental design techniques. Hardworking and organized.

Weaknesses as a designer? 

Overthinking it.

What have been your influences?  

Historical art movements.

What's playing on your iPod while you design?  

Bauhaus. The Smiths. Swann Danger.

Favorite material/fabric to work with?  


Favorite designer(s)?  

Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto.

Sketch or drape?  


Patterns or solids?  


Favorite colors?  


Biggest fear as a designer?


Fashion must?

Leather jacket.

Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?


Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?


Favorite style icon?

Nancy Cunard, Patti Smith, Daphne Guinness.

How would you dress Michelle Obama?  

Dress - an original, with a leather jacket.

Dream celebrity client? What would you make for him/her?  

Anjelina Jolie. A gown.

Favorite super model muse?  

Kate Moss.

If you had to name your label, you'd call it...


If you weren't designing, you'd be...  

On vacation.

Any cultures/places you wish you could design for?  

Belgium/Antwerp. Japan/Tokyo. Italy/Tuscany. Germany/Berlin.

Dream place to set up your design business?  


List of websites featuring your work?  

melissafleis.squarespace.com, yuliskincare.com, learn.ist

How were you described as a kid?  

Outgoing, determined, loving, creative, busy.

How are you described now?

 Independent, passionate, focused, funny, hardworking, creative, busy.

Why are you easy or difficult to live with?  

Easy: Great at interior design and creating an organized, functional living space.

Favorite hangout?  



Photography, interior design, antiquing, hiking.

Favorite films/TV shows?  

"A Clockwork Orange," "Eyes Wide Shut," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Pulp Fiction," "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," "Edward Scissorhands," "Fight Club," "Twin Peaks," "Mad Men," "True Blood," "The Tudors," "Arrested Development," "South Park."

Favorite books/authors? 

Edgar Allen Poe, Jack Kerouac, Hemingway, "The Beat Reader."

Favorite websites?  

"The Beat Reader," Style Zeitgeist, Dirty Flaws, Some Lash Things Magazine, Interview, Huffington Post

iPhone, Android, or Blackberry?  


Fast food or gourmet?  


Cooking or takeout?  

Depends on the night.

Favorite food(s)?  

Arugula salads, filet mignon, fresh baked bread. Californian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese.

Beer or wine?  


Guiltiest pleasure?  


Biggest pet peeve?  

Being late.

How'd you end up auditioning for PR?  

Received a call at work saying they were looking for designers. I emailed, sent photos, and got a callback.

Favorite PR designer?  

Christian Siriano.

Challenge you hope they bring back?  

Hardware store.

Challenge you hope they don't bring back?  


What's your take on team challenges?

On the fence.sometimes it can be a disaster.

What do you look for in a model?  

Specific look with attitude and height.

Do you think you can win PR?  

Yes, because I am confident in my vision and believe "Project Runway" will recognize this.