Chicago's Finest: Mel Muoio

Mel Muoio, is someone you must know. She’s one of the amazing people that I’ve had the opportunity to meet through work.

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Having been featured before as one of our ‘Best Dressed on The Scene‘ I decided  to sit down and chat with her more in detail. Mel flourishes behind the scenes; whether it’s styling personalities for magazine shoots to making a restaurant visually appealing, she’s a multi talented multi faceted babe.

We visited Mel at home where we got a chance to give the story on  what I call the “intergalactic cape” as well as the amazing wood table we spotted in her home and her dog Lola. Get to know Melissa “Mel” Muoio, SociaLifeChicago’s Finest!

mel muoio-cape

Bolaji: The cape what’s the story behind it?

Mel: I am an avid vintage lover, there is a certain sense of pride when you find a fun piece to wear. I don’t take fashion too seriously, when I find a fun piece I grab it, wear it and have a fun in it. That being said, I was in San Francisco with my boyfriend and I found it in a little shop in Haight & Ashbury district and that razzle dazzle came home with me.

Bolaji: You can be found styling fashion shoots as well as visuals for restaurants in Chicago, how did you come to this calling?
Mel: With my style background, knowing the functionality of how items need to hold up in their environment and being able to understand hospitality operations I have been able to connect the dots on how to direct with uniform style selections, props and help visually communicate their story of who they are and why they are different.


Bolaji:  What’s your style philosophy? what would you describe your style as?
Mel: I have a very classic style, jeans, crisp white tee and a pair of stellar heels. I have certain fun pieces I like to wear when I am feeling inspired or silly.
Bolaji:  how did your dog Lola come into your life?
Mel Lola SociaLifeChicago's finest
Mel: oh Lola… the love of my life… She was a reject from Leader Dogs from the Blind. My mom got my family involved in the program to raise future leader dogs for the first 8 weeks of their life, which means you take care of the dog mom, deliver the puppies and then monitor them for 8 weeks. During the year Lola was in training my mom had passed away, and right before Christmas I received a phone call that Lola was rejected from the program for being too shy and they wanted to see if I was able to adopt her. It was such a miracle and felt like my mom sent Lola to snuggle me for my first holiday without her.
Bolaji:  We have to talk about this table? Is Josh working on more like this?
Mel: Josh, my boyfriend, is quite crafty. He learned about woodworking from his father and is now building beautiful wood tables from all sorts of wood from the midwest. He works with the Amish to find the best wood and pieces for him and his projects. With my style direction we are hoping to get some fun collaboration tables going. I want brass legs on everything!
Bolaji: What are your favorite shopping haunts in the city?
Mel: favorite shopping haunts in the city. Penelope’s is my favorite boutique,I can’t ever leave without purchasing something…  When I need to feel inspired for home decor I hang out at Jayson Home and Garden, the selection of knick knacks, unique furniture, and design books are special to Chicago.
Bolaji: Can you tell us about what projects you have coming up?
Mel: I am working with several restaurants for few different style direction projects, and creating stylish but functional uniform and creating unique visual enviroments have been my passion for a few years now.
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Bolaji: When not working favorite thing to do to relax?
Mel: I read magazines, take Lola for walks, go on style hunts for my closet and home, drink wine with my girlfriends.

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Photo: James Foster
Styling: Mel Muoio


SociaLifeChicago is your daily digital destination for fashion, parties, news, dining, and lifestyle, from Chicago to the world.

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