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Michele Levy, Founder & CEO

Michele Levy

Founder & CEO, Ilhabela Holdings

Michele Levy is the private equity investor and banker turned fashion entrepreneur behind the successful growth of the Melissa shoe brand in the US. Through her fashion distribution company Ilhabela Holdings, Michele and her team built the Melissa brand up from relative obscurity into the leading brand in its category in the United States.

Through Michele’s fruitful retail and marketing initiatives, Melissa Shoes today is available in the United States at more than 800 points of sale including the country’s most prestigious boutiques and department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Shopbop, Nordstrom, and many others.  She is also responsible for initiating and implementing exclusive brand collaborations with well-known fashion designers, nationwide retail chains, and more including Jason Wu. Additionally, Michele is leading a fast and successful retail and online expansion, having opened 12 retail stores in the last 18 months operating a truly omnichannel enterprise.

A French-Brazilian national, Michele has a degree in Economics from the Universidade de Sao Paulo (FEA) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Michele started her career at Chase/JPMorgan in its investment banking, capital markets, and project finance divisions. Her last assignment was with Chase Capital Partners/JPMorgan Partner private equity fund, where Mrs. Levy was responsible for overseeing more than $100MM in investments in Brazil, Mexico, and other countries in the region. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Michele was Senior Director at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, an organization founded by David Rockefeller to promote trade, investment and a political and policy discourse on Latin America.

Michele is passionate about entrepreneurship, retail technology and women’s rights. She is a member of YPO Manhattan, a Global Mentor for Endeavor and sits on the Advisory Boards of Hickies, the revolutionary shoe lacing system and Cymbio, a sales enhancing e-commerce platform. She lives in New York with her daughter Alexandra and their dog, Ginger. Her favorite hobby is to hang out.