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Melissa Fleis
A look from Fleis's Spring/Summer 2014 line

If you?re a Project Runway fan, you undoubtedly have Melissa Fleis?s blood-orange leather dress seared into your memory. If not, well, now you do.

The color was somewhat of a departure for Fleis, who came in third after showing at New York Fashion Week last year (in the show's tenth season). The platinum-haired Mission resident became known for her dramatic noir designs, which she crafted almost exclusively in leather. Though she began sewing only five years ago, she clearly possesses a preternatural talent (just ask Tim Gunn).

Her leather jackets in particular were a fan favorite--so much so that she started custom-making them. This fall she launched a line of hand-sewn leather goods including edgy vests, architectural clutches and, of course, jackets with her signature asymmetrical collar (all available through The NWBLK).

Tune in this Thursday to watch Fleis compete in the new Project Runway All Stars season...and start rooting for your new favorite local designer.

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