Melissa Fleis

San Francisco, CA - Out Episode 14
out
Q: When did you realize you had designer potential? 
A:  Since I was a little girl.
Q: First garment you ever made? 
A: Skirt.
Q: What's your design training/schooling? 
A MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.
Q: Have you won any awards? 
A No actual award. Only featured on websites.
Q: Strengths as a designer? 
A A forward, distinct look with couture garment construction and experimental design techniques. Hardworking and organized.
Q: Weaknesses as a designer? 
A: Overthinking it.
Q: What have been your influences? 
A: Historical art movements.
Q: What's playing on your iPod while you design? 
A Bauhaus. The Smiths. Swann Danger.
Q: Favorite material/fabric to work with? 
A Leather.
Q: Favorite designer(s)? 
A:  Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto.
Q: Sketch or drape? 
A:  Both.
Q: Patterns or solids? 
A:  Solids.
Q: Favorite colors? 
A Black.
Q: Biggest fear as a designer? 
A: Failing.
Q: Fashion must? 
A:  Leather jacket.
Q: Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy? 
A:  UGGs.
Q: Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? 
A: Birkenstocks.
Q: Favorite style icon? 
A: Nancy Cunard, Patti Smith, Daphne Guinness.
Q: How would you dress Michelle Obama? 
A: Dress - an original, with a leather jacket.
Q: Dream celebrity client? What would you make for him/her? 
A: Anjelina Jolie. A gown.
Q: Favorite super model muse? 
A:  Kate Moss.
Q: If you had to name your label, you'd call it... 
A: Ilinka.
Q: If you weren't designing, you'd be... 
A: On vacation.
Q: Any cultures/places you wish you could design for? 
A: Belgium/Antwerp. Japan/Tokyo. Italy/Tuscany. Germany/Berlin.
Q: Dream place to set up your design business? 
A: Tuscany.
Q: List of websites featuring your work? 
A:  melissafleis.squarespace.com, yuliskincare.com, learn.ist
Q: How were you described as a kid? 
A Outgoing, determined, loving, creative, busy.
Q: How are you described now? 
A Independent, passionate, focused, funny, hardworking, creative, busy.
Q: Why are you easy or difficult to live with? 
A:  Easy: Great at interior design and creating an organized, functional living space.
Q: Favorite hangout? 
A Farb's.
Q: Hobbies? 
A Photography, interior design, antiquing, hiking.
Q: Favorite films/TV shows? 
A :"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."
Q: Favorite books/authors? 
A Edgar Allen Poe, Jack Kerouac, Hemingway, "The Beat Reader."
Q: Favorite websites? 
A "The Beat Reader," Style Zeitgeist, Dirty Flaws, Some Lash Things Magazine, Interview, Huffington Post
Q: iPhone, Android, or Blackberry? 
A iPhone.
Q: Fast food or gourmet? 
A:  Gourmet.
Q: Cooking or takeout? 
A:  Depends on the night.
Q: Favorite food(s)? 
A:  Arugula salads, filet mignon, fresh baked bread. Californian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese.
Q: Beer or wine? 
A Beer.
Q: Guiltiest pleasure? 
A Nutella.
Q: Biggest pet peeve? 
A Being late.
Q: How'd you end up auditioning for PR? 
A:  Received a call at work saying they were looking for designers. I emailed, sent photos, and got a callback.
Q: Favorite PR designer? 
A Christian Siriano.
Q: Challenge you hope they bring back? 
A Hardware store.
Q: Challenge you hope they don't bring back? 
A Petland.
Q: What's your take on team challenges?
A: On the fence.sometimes it can be a disaster.
Q: What do you look for in a model? 
A:  specific look with attitude and height.
Q: Do you think you can win PR? 
A: Yes, because I am confident in my vision and believe "Project Runway" will recognize this.