Melissa Battifarano is a critically acclaimed fashion designer with over 10 years of experience in the American fashion industry. Her career includes senior roles at fashion labels such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Sean John (where the brand won the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award with Melissa serving as Senior Designer), and Tory Burch, where she launched the successful Tory Sport line in Fall 2015.
A born and bred New Yorker, Melissa graduated Cum Laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Though her concentration in knitwear coupled with an intense interest in menswear primed her for tenure at renowned sportswear houses, these honed sensibilities also caught the eye of Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter and fashion icon, Rihanna. After just one interview where the two women hit it off both personally and aesthetically, Melissa was appointed Design Director of Rihanna’s Fenty Corporation, launching the Fenty x Puma Fall/Winter 2016 collection to global industry acclaim.
Melissa loves traveling the globe for fabric and garment inspiration, and makes a point of visiting local galleries and museum exhibitions wherever her journeys take her. She has an affinity for designer handbags and a love for her teacup poodle Rocco, two hand-held necessities when Melissa is out and about the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, where she has resided for the last 15 years.