As Mellia's selfie a day project began taking off, companies like Gap, Hearst and W Magazine started hiring Mellia to create ads inspired by the selfie series but but not to star in them himself.
It was an expensive endeavor. Mellia estimates that he spent more than $200,000 on equipment, including high-quality video cameras and lenses worth $90,000. He's had to purchase lighting gear and professional software, and also hire multiple assistants and an agent to help him book work.
"The scale of these productions has to meet broadcast TV standards," Melia said. "Even though it's a selfie of me filming myself, which is very unusual in the advertising world."
In July, Mellia made the unorthodox decision to delete his existing Instagram page and its 100,000 followers to start fresh on work that he hoped to be more shocking and creative and extremely slick.
Mellia said he was inspired by an art film called "Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger," in which Warhol sits in silence for four minutes eating a burger. "It made me want to start over again, putting myself in the position where I really had to make great work," Mellia said.
Deals with Brooks Brothers and Intel are the start of what Mellia believes will be a new direction in his career as he goes from filming models to himself, hopefully pivoting the ad industry.
"For so many years, fashion has gone through these different trends," Mellia said. "Now it's kind of the next trend, moving towards the artists and artistic people who have an extreme point of view."