Melrose Bickerstaff was born in 1983 (making her twenty-three at the time of ANTM), she grew up in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, and graduated from West Bloomfield High School in 2001. While in high school, she was active in theater and was also a member of the ski team. She graduated from The Art Institute of California - San Francisco with a degree in fashion design, where she was named "Best of Show" and "Most Creative" in the 2003 annual student fashion show. Before appearing on America's Next Top Model, she worked as a fashion designer.
America's Next Top Model
On the series, Bickerstaff went by "Melrose," claiming she removed the "issa" from her first name because she "didn't need it." While making it to the final two on Top Model, Mel Rose was not well-liked by the other contestants, which was later revealed to E! as selective editing. Mel Rose's biggest detractor was Monique Calhoun, who acted out against her in at least three instances during the series. Another one of Mel Rose's biggest foes on the series, Eugena Washington, said that the two were actually friends, and comments said about Mel Rose that were attributed to Eugena were taken out of context.
At the end of Melrose's Top Model run, she announced that she would help design clothes for former Lost cast member Michelle Rodriguez's fledgling clothing line, Ishkidada. The next month, E! Online and TMZ.com reported rumors that Melrose and actor Jeremy Piven had started a romance, but was later retracted by the latter source. In February 2007, Mel Rose was a featured model in Malan Breton's ready to wear show at New York Fashion Week. Her working relationship with Breton continued when she appeared with him at the GLAAD Media Awards wearing one of his dresses one month later. In April 2007, she also appeared in New York's Tartan Week with Ivanka Trump and Marcus Schenkenberg. Previously signed to Bleu Model Management and L.A. Models, she signed to Storm Model Management in late 2007, the same agency which manages supermodels Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and Alek Wek. Mel Rose has also done advertisements for Scoop NYC, Jack Rabbit Belts, and Beau Soleil Fall 2007 Collection, as well as walked the runways at London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2008 for designer Aminika Wilmot.