Melissa Odabash (born June 1971) is an American fashion designer and former model based in London. She is known for her swimwear designs and has been noted by Vogue as creating the "Ferraris of swimwear." Odabash has a celebrity following and her designs have been worn by Beyonce, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Rihanna, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Born in the US in June 1971, Odabash began her career living and working in Italy as a catwalk and swimwear model. Odabash decided to start creating her own swimwear by hand, selling them to independent boutiques in Milan and gaining global recognition when her designs featured on the front cover of American fashion magazines.
Odabash has collaborated with others in the industry including Speedos, creating a collection of one-off swimwear pieces to celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2004. She opened a store in Notting Hill, London in 2007, followed by one in Chelsea.
Odabash's brand, which includes swim, beach & ready-to-wear collections is distributed in over 48 countries and retailed in over 250 department stores. She has an ongoing collaboration with designer Julien Macdonald with a range of couture swim and beachwear collections and has also collaborated with celebrities such as Alexandra Burke, Gwyneth Paltrow & Naomi Watts for her starring roles in The Impossible (2012 film) & Diana (film); In 2012, Odabash developed a line of unisex hats to raise money and awareness for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
In 2014, Odabash won Salon International de la lingerie's Designer of the Year award and was awarded as one of the 50 Most Influential People of London at The London Lifestyle Awards; as well as winning Retailer of the Year in 2015. She is a guest speaker at business schools in the UK and US including Condé Nast's College of Fashion & Design and Harvard Business School.
In February 2015, Odabash launched her debut Mastectomy Swimwear line in collaboration with breast cancer charity Future Dreams. Sky News presenter, former Olympic gymnast & ambassador for the charity Jacquie Beltrao fronts the collection after discussing her experience with breast cancer and decision to undergo a mastectomy. This partnership has continued to develop , leading to Odabash taking on the role of an Ambassador of the Future Dreams Charity. She also has similar commitments with CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity that help support both young cancer sufferers and their families. Odabash is on the event's committee for the Gynaecological Cancer Fund, which involves offering her support in a multitude of ways; including the worldwide social media among other activities.
Her husband is half-Italian, half-Spanish and they have two teenage daughters.
Designed with luxury in mind, Melissa Odabash is the ultimate holiday lifestyle brand. As a former swimwear model, Melissa has a finely tuned sense of what women want from their swimwear: beautifully designed pieces cut from superior fabrics that make the wearer look and feel their best. Her exotic and sensual swim and beachwear are must-haves for the global traveler, and her eponymous brand has come to epitomize glamour and sophistication.
Exotic animal prints are a staple of the collection, and Melissa’s passion for vintage prints and sourcing one-off pieces from bazaars and markets shines through in her designs. Embellishments are used selectively and lend the sleek, minimalist bikinis and one-pieces a sharp finish. Scattered gems and brushed metals lift the swimwear collection and reinforce the luxury and opulence of the line .
Featuring Melissa’s signature animal and ikat prints, the beachwear collection exudes the carefree yet chic feel Melissa Odabash represents. From jersey maxi dresses to silk kaftans, these versatile pieces can easily be worn as daywear just right for a jet-setting lifestyle.
Credited with introducing high fashion to the swimwear world, Melissa Odabash continues to team with high-profile stars and other fashion brands to create new outlets for her designs. She believes that women should have fashion that makes them feel great in any vacation destination.