In this new monthly series I’ll be sitting down with some of my industry favourites and having a chat, a laugh and tea (optional). I’m starting off with the guy we all got to know during this year’s Malta Fashion Week when he debuted his brand full of cheeky slogans. Ommi ma… It’s only Marco Parascandalo!
Daniel Azzopardi: So… For the people that have been living under a rock this past year… Who’s Marco and what is he all about?
Marco Parascandalo: So… I’m a Maltese guy working in fashion. I’ve always loved fashion and knew I wanted to be part of it, so I worked and interned with several couture and womenswear houses in London to get to know the industry and myself better. Now I’m back in Malta working on my own brand Parascandalo.
D: We’ve just seen your latest collection recently… Talk to me about it and more importantly… Why black?
M: I was really inspired by streetwear and the goth scene of the ‘80s and ‘90s for this collection. The colours, textures and how things are paired up. We kept the slogans from the first collection but went a step further this time and added the Birgu emblems.
D: Your hometown?
M: Yes! And going back to your question about black… Everyone knows black is my favourite colour!
D: So it’s safe to say orange ISN’T the new black for Marco…
M: Definitely not! (laughs)
D: A day in the life of Marco Parascandalo. Walk me through it.
M: I wake up and get ready. Check social media… (laughs)
D: Oh boy I can relate! How long does it take you to get dressed?
M: It takes me 10 minutes max! I know what I like and can choose things according to my mood quite fast. And if it’s a work day… Then I have my own kind of uniform I guess.
D: Back to your brand. What is the design process like?
M: With this collection it involved a lot of research – when it comes to both the textures and the words to be used as slogans.
D: Do you have any moments of self-doubt leading up to a show?
M: Textures were a big worry for me. And how black looks on the runway. I think that’s one of the challenges when you have an all black collection. It can look quite flat, so you need to use unexpected textures and combine them to make the looks more interesting.
D: Who is the Marco Parascandalo customer?
M: I don’t think there is a specific customer… Most of my pieces are wearable in a hundred ways. I have had a big variety of males and females wearing my merch, when it comes to style, and I love how they all wear my tops in their own ways!
D: A lot of people probably don’t know you have an extensive amount of experience working in retail. Does knowing how people dress and what they look for, effect your work?
M: It definitely influences me. I’m really lucky to work with all sorts of people, from all walks of life. It has made me more business minded and more informed than the average person. And mannequin dressing is a lot like dressing models – it’s how you showcase your product to sell.
D: What are Marco’s 5 must-haves for Autumn/Winter ‘14?
M: Let me think… A leather biker jacket, a bomber style sports jacket, black skinny jeans, white sneakers, and one of my own ‘X’għarukaża’ sweatshirts!
D: What’s next for Marco Parascandalo? Are we going to see you at MFW ’15?
M: Hopefully yes! I would like to have a solo show. Going forward I want to explore other ideas and options when it comes to prints and slogans. I have a lot projects in the pipeline!
D: How important has social media been in the growth of your brand?
M: It was the only platform where I sold my merch… Until now! Now I launched my own website and online shop. And social media and fashion bloggers like yourself are incredibly important to get something across to the masses nowadays.
D: (blushing) And finally… You just mentioned you launched your online shop. First of all… Congrats! Where can we all buy your stuff?
M: Thank you! It’s www.parascandalomarco.com! Happy shopping!
Photo by Carlton Agius