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Melissa Moura: The model and investor who conquers the world with her versatility


Photos: Levítico Cruz - @oficiallevicruz
Make: Carol - @bycarolfranca
Videomaker : Thaynan Rangel - @thaynanrangel_
Production of the look. : Diogo Venâncio - @eldiogro
Hooks Team / Fashion Director: Matheus Hooks - @directorhooks
Marketing Director: Matheus Lopes - @mathlopes

Melissa Moura is a true inspiration for those who aspire to achieve success in different areas. Recognized as a model and successful investor, she is an example of versatility and determination. In this special edition of Hooks Magazine, we are delighted to present her as the face of our cover, featuring an exclusive interview.

With a background in business administration, Melissa recognized the importance of diversifying her interests and expanding her horizons. In addition to her mastery of the fashion world, she also stands out as a skilled investor, venturing into stocks, real estate funds, and cryptocurrencies. Her strategic approach and knowledge of the financial market have placed her in a prominent position in this industry.

Currently residing in Paris, Melissa shares with us, in the interview, her inspirations behind the fashion creation of the cover, discusses diversity, and delivers an important message about sustainability in the fashion world.

Check out the exclusive interview below:

1. You wore a look entirely made through denim upcycling on the cover of Hooks Magazine. How do you perceive sustainable fashion and its role in building a more conscious future?

I believe that fashion plays a role of representativeness in people's lives. When you wear something, you express what is inside you—your personality, your style, your preferences, your creativity, and, consequently, your way of thinking. In my opinion, upcycling fashion encompasses various themes. We are talking about awareness, representativeness, and inclusion. Speaking of awareness, we should know that, according to a study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the textile industry's production is responsible for 2% to 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, the dyeing phase is one of the major causes of water pollution. When we talk about denim fabric and its production phases, we are talking about a significant level of pollution. I believe that this alone is a good reason to start considering applying a new concept to materials and fabrics that would otherwise be discarded.
Regarding representativeness and inclusion, it is about including people from all social classes in fashion. We can find various used pieces through donations or in thrift store finds, giving these pieces a new chance. We can customize them or cut and remake a piece from scratch, as was the case with the cover look.
Together with the authenticity of the stylist Diogo Venâncio, who was responsible for creating the look and who already incorporates streetwear, quiet luxury, and upcycling in his work, we thought about how to take jeans from charity thrift stores and create a complete look, from pants and top to customized shoes. It combines awareness with the All Jeans trend.

2. How did upcycling become an important part of your style and creations? Do you use it in your daily life?

I have always enjoyed experimenting with styles and looks during my adolescence, which I believe is the phase where we test new styles and create our personalities. Dressing up was a way to express something that was hidden within me. I have fond memories of roaming all over São Paulo during my 15 and 16 years, searching thrift stores and customizing looks to attend parties and cultural events of that time.
I wanted to be part of the fashion world, to have exclusive and unique pieces that would showcase my personality. That was my way of putting together looks. At that time, I didn't really think about sustainability; it was more of a financial matter (haha). However, it allowed me to create new concepts with pieces that others no longer valued. It fostered my creativity and made me realize the importance of giving new chances to those neglected garments.

3. How does fashion affect your professional and personal life, and is it a focus for you as an entrepreneur?

Fashion makes me be and feel. Through it, I can express myself and feel free to create. In my personal life, it reveals a part of what is intrinsically kept within me. And in my professional life, it shows me the possibilities to create different contexts and themes, to play with styles, and to address important issues that are expressed through garment construction.
My focus is to show that fashion can reach various groups. The important thing is to be authentic and carry meanings of belonging and representation.

4. The new Barbie movie has brought to light the importance of diversity and representation in fashion. How do you believe this approach impacts the industry and influences aesthetic standards?

The conscious All Jeans theme, along with a provocative cover inspired by the Barbie movie, makes us reflect on diversity, not only in clothing but also in bodies and individuals. For a long time, fashion was seen only for the elite class and for thin, white, standardized bodies. Today, we are bringing in colors, ethnicities, genders, and styles, demonstrating that diversity exists and should be respected and fostered with a sense of belonging, especially within the fashion industry.

5. What are the main changes you have noticed in the fashion industry regarding the acceptance and celebration of body and style diversity?

There has been a need to increase awareness of diversities, as what was imposed upon us did not truly represent the majority. This creates an opportunity for new brands to emerge and for major brands to adapt to what becomes a trend in its own right. Fashion is revolutionary and slowly but surely, it is transforming, and we are gaining visibility in spaces that were previously unseen.
An example of this, which sparked various comments, was the appointment of Pharrell as the creative director of Louis Vuitton. Being a renowned brand, there were many criticisms of his appointment due to his lack of formal training in the field. However, he responded simply and sincerely: "I make things for humans." During his first fashion show in Paris under his creative direction, Pharrell showed us that fashion is about representing people, about the feeling of being and being part of something. Fashion is a movement, and its lovers are artists.
With each achievement, we must celebrate because gradually we are occupying spaces and showing our existence and style.

6. What message do you have for aspiring designers and fashion enthusiasts who want to get involved in sustainable fashion and promote diversity in their creations?

The message I have for fashion enthusiasts is to be authentic and revolutionary. What will make you distinctive and unique is your authenticity and passion for what you are creating.
In a conversation with Diogo, the creator of the look, he told me something that made me reflect deeply on what fashion truly is: "Every well-constructed piece has the passion and drive of its creators. All these emotions result in the magnitude of expressing what is inside and bringing a new perspective to fashion. It is not limited to straight cuts and perfect seams. It is about making things happen with what you have at hand because a simple hand needle, thread, and scissors can transform something ordinary into an incredible, unprecedented piece that nobody could have imagined. It is about being unique and trusting your heart."
For those who want to get involved in sustainable fashion, it is simple and even enjoyable to explore thrift stores in your city. Seek style references, make use of fabrics from past collections, and recreate new garments and cuts. Let yourself be guided by creativity. In doing so, you will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.


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