Zoë Melo's Touch
Tiptoeing into the Los Angeles showroom of TOUCH, it's difficult not to obey the storefront's signage. The white-on-white space is stacked with oddly alluring textures—impossibly long-necked vases, chunky-funky baskets, a round of glass balanced on what look like three ultrapolished boulders. It's enough to make you want to reach out and, well...you know. And I would, were it not for the glamazon-height supermodel in the center of the room, smiling as she guards the wares. The supermodel is Zoë Melo. Retired by trade (though looks luckily last through career changes), Melo is now a curator of sustainable objects from around the world, and will be a featured speaker at Dwell on Design in June.
Melo opened TOUCH with partner Peter Scherrer as a way to showcase the socially-responsible design that Melo has been consulting on for years (we've had an eye on her since we named her one of our Nice Modernists last year). After traveling the world modeling, Melo found herself trend forecasting, curating, and developing products for companies like Artecnica, and schooling brands on her smartpath process, a way to make products more meaningful and sustainable. TOUCH, I soon come to understand, is kind of like an annotated journal from Melo's globe-trotting life. (And as fate would have it, almost everything is available for the touching.)
And of course you'll be able to see Melo speak at this year's Dwell on Design. While she can't take the entire audience with her to Brazil, she will let us embark upon a single enlightening journey. "More and more, the stories behind objects are what we are all trying to understand," says Melo. "So, perhaps I can highlight one of these stories, which is big part of my work." Dwell on Design is June 26-28 in downtown Los Angeles. You can purchase tickets at dwellondesign.com and follow developing highlights on Twitter @dwellondesign.