I don’t think a lot of people know the amount of work and hours that go into Malta Fashion Week all year round. So I sat down with the man in charge and today I’m giving you a look into the mind (and heart) behind it all, Adrian Mizzi.
So let’s go back to the early days… How did it all start?
Back in the ‘90s we were doing contests with zero budget. And no sponsors! This was the time of no emails so we had to go from shop to shop. It was something so new that my two partners at the time dropped out. But lot of people turned up for the first show, and this is coming from someone who knows how hard it is to attract people to an event nowadays. But to cut a story short… No good was coming out of it and I wanted something more concrete. I wanted a change.
I’m guessing that’s where the Malta Fashion Awards come in?
Yes. I made a set of rules for nominees to be considered for the awards show and started getting in touch with photographers, make-up artists and hairdressers. But they were all in their bubble. I quickly realized there was a need for new blood. There was a lot of trial and error to find a good format during the first few years, like in everything else. The media wrote things like ‘Organizers HOPE to make this an annual event’ and ‘Organizing a fashion show in a country where there is no fashion’. So we went bigger, started to attract the Maltese males and moved to the MFCC. If I didn’t have anything… I had the foresight to see the potential in things others didn’t.
How did the transition from the Malta Fashion Awards to Malta Fashion Week come to be?
Things started to grow bigger and I wanted something to showcase what was being made in Malta. Now we have the 5th edition of our own Malta Fashion Week in a few weeks time so I guess we’re doing pretty well.
All the international fashion capitals have two fashion weeks every year, more if you count the resort collections. Will we ever see it happening in Malta?
We are thinking about a Winter edition but there is a lot of work and market research involved. It would obviously be on a different scale than the one we have in May.
You mention the ‘Made in Malta’ a lot – why is it so important to you?
One can’t deny we don’t have talent locally when you see work like Ritienne Zammit’s. Marco Parascadalo’s tees are now a viral sensation in their own right. The thing is Malta is full of foreign franchises, and that makes the made in Malta even more important. You don’t have the problem of the internet, no competition! It’s incredibly important to invest in what’s local. I feel honoured to have my part in building it.
In my opinion you were one of the first people to acknowledge fashion bloggers locally. At what point did you realize we were worth something?
The importance of media is extreme especially in the age of social media we live in. Just like sports journalists, food journalists… There is a need for fashion journalists too.
So you’re saying fashion blogging is a form of journalism?
Of course! You carry the same responsibility for your readers and followers. And that’s why we offered to help fashion bloggers with front row seats and exposure even before you had your own award at the Malta Fashion Awards.
Malta now has its own Malta Fashion Association. Can you briefly explain what it entails to my readers?
When the sector grows and becomes commercial, this association is as important as oxygen. It’s no secret that the fashion industry is a huge business. The Malta Fashion Association aims to to regularise the local fashion sector and to be a point of reference, both for the authorities as well as the general public. There is strength in unity.
What would you say is your biggest achievement so far?
All the things I have created are big achievements to be in different ways. Malta Fashion Week, the Awards, Venere and winning Best Lifestyle Programme at the Maltese TV Awards.
Where can people reserve their show invites and buy tickets for the Malta Fashion Awards?
All can be done following the links on our events calendar page over here.