Mom, blogger, entrepreneur, and fashion icon. These are some of the words people have used to describe Rina Santos. In the last few years, Santos has become a prolific figure on social media for her aesthetic and stylish adventures with daughter, Rafa. Melissa Shoes recognizes this power mom as a #MeInMelissa Style Maven.
“It started when she was really small. I would always dress her up in something weird or fun. Then eventually, people started asking me, ‘Oh, how’s Rafa?’. So I changed my IG account’s name because more of my followers are actually following Rafa!”
#MeInMelissa is the new campaign by Brazilian footwear icon, Melissa Shoes. The campaign empowers women across the country while highlighting pieces from the brand’s 2018 collection, Open Vibes.
Melissa is an iconic global footwear brand from Brazil. Since its inception in 1979, Melissa has long had a tradition of avant-garde designs fused with the use of sustainable materials, and collaborations with high-profile names from the world of art and fashion.
For her #MeInMelissa Style Maven shoot, Rina Santos donned a pair of Melissa Classic Brogues, with her personal aesthetic of mixing androgynous stylings with vintage, feminine touches. This new twist on the classic Oxford has become a favorite among men and women alike.
“Above all else, I chose it because it brings a different kind of take in fashion and I like the comfort it brings,” says Santos. “It’s really low maintenance. You can bring it to your travel. It doesn’t take a lot of cleaning. I really like the collaborations with different artists nowadays. Melissa opens doors to artists and different collaborations. People can also try it from the different designers.”
Due to the popularity of her Instagram account, @rinaandrafa, Santos launched a supporting video blog, The Rina and Rafa Show, which has become an instant favorite, where viewers get a sneak into the family’s trips all over the world.
“Travel is important to us. Not just for fashion, but for Rafa,” says Santos. “It opens a lot of ideas for her. She has an open mind and she’s not discriminating. She doesn’t feel scared going to different places. But if we have a super favorite place, that would be Japan or Seoul, South Korea. We like the food and they have a lot of vintage stores there. We love mixing vintage and store-bought clothes!”
For her, travel isn’t just a means of exploring new worlds or rediscovering long-forgotten favorites. “Most of our inspiration actually comes from traveling. We see a lot of styles along the way, and eventually that brought us to zeroing into our individualities. We’re different and that’s okay.”
Because of their increased presence on social media, both Rina and Rafa have both become #AestheticGoals for mothers and daughters all across the Philippines. This comes through most prominently through the tandem’s now-famous rotation of complementing outfits.
“It was just me wanting to dress her up and later on, it eventually grew on her and we bonded,” Santos shares. “It’s a conscious decision to coordinate. Not more on twinning, but coordinating through colors and structure of the fabric. We have fun in planning our outfits.”
“You can go to a lot of places with good and comfortable shoes,” Santos adds. “Comfort is the main priority and then style, of course. If style and comfort mixes together, that’s very good. But at the end of the day, comfort will bring you a different perspective on life.”
And because of this, Melissa Shoes is proud to recognize her as one of their Style Mavens for #MeInMelissa.