Brazilian Shoe Stylist Does Work for Bebe and Guess

The designer of feminine shoes Meline Moumdjian, owner of the brand of luxury shoes Les Gazelles, is going to increase her exports to the Arab countries next collection. Meline, who already sells to Kuwait, is signing a contract with an importer from the United Arab Emirates.

"Negotiation with the Arab Emirates is already well underway. The importer only has to decide the quantity of shoes, all of the 2007 Summer collection, which he will import," asserted the entrepreneur.

"The shopkeeper from Kuwait, in turn, has been our client from 2003 onwards and since then hasn’t missed one collection," added Meline. The Kuwaiti importer buys about 2,000 pairs every new collection.

As well as exporting ready-made shoes, the designer and businesswoman advanced in the market has also been selling the designs of the collections she creates. It is an alternative to face the times of the depreciated dollar. "I have already exported designs to Spain, Portugal, United States and Israel," she explains.

The designer has her studio at her own Les Gazelles store, in the Jardins neighborhood of São Paulo. There you can find her recent creations – sandals, peep toes and pumps. With a production of 120 pairs per day, the company creates in average 400 models every six months, of which half is for the foreign market.

Their models are sold not only at Les Gazelles, in São Paulo, but in boutiques around Brazil, and also in addresses in New York, Los Angeles and Miami and in countries like France, Spain, Portugal, Kuwait, Israel, Dominican Republic and Porto Rico.


Meline, now at the age of 42, works with shoes since she was 16 years old. She learned how to draw with the French master Pierre Hardy, a renown shoes designer. Uruguayan with Brazilian nationality, she is the granddaughter of Armenians, who always worked with shoes. Established in Uruguay, her grandfather opened a factory of shoe moulds, in 1941, which exists to this day.

Her father started his career in the family’s factory, but every now and then crossed the border with Brazil to check out the novelties in the market of Novo Hamburgo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, extreme south of Brazil, which was already forming a shoe hub. Later, in 1975, he would come with his family to São Paulo, where he opened Moumdjian, shoes factory which today manufactures for Les Gazelles and other brands.

The businesswoman was even more involved by the universe of shoes by the influence from the stylist Teresa Gureg, her aunt, with whom she travelled to Milan, Paris, London and New York to see the trends and draw the new models.

Meline’s sole take off started in 1998, when she inaugurated the store Les Gazelles, which in little time became a reference in fashion shoes. It was heights of the hippie-chic fashion, and her platforms in cork, Indian shantung and jeans with embroideries and stones were a hit.

Since then, Meline started conquering her space. She has even designed for the American brands Bebe and Guess. In Brazilian retail a pair of Les Gazelles shoes costs between R$ 198 (about US$ 90) and R$ 450 (US$ 204). For exports, the pair costs in average US$ 50.

The designer created the Les Gazelles Summer 2007 collection (for December/January) inspired by chic and sophisticated women. According to her, the collection appreciates forms, cuts, materials and prints, in a mix of design and handicraft.


Les Gazelles
Telephone: (+55 11) 3965-2514

Anba –


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