With the right nurturing and expertise, Malta’s fashion players could be global leaders after the pandemic, at least according to fashion consultant Mikel Rosen, who co-founded London’s esteemed Fashion Week.
“Right now, Malta is a blank canvas – but the stories are there,” Rosen explained on Lovin Daily, suggesting that designers find their feet by drawing inspiration from the island’s rich heritage.
Rosen explained that COVID-19 has actually presented a prime opportunity for local designers, but warned they need to find their voice before taking on global fashion giants.
“We were having this conversation even before the pandemic started,” he continued. “We have countless fashion shows but less than half were actually being worn by people. We’re now asking – what is the point of this abundance of clothes? Is it necessary? Is the industry really catering to what people need?”
Despite the existential questioning on the industry, Rosen thinks the pandemic came at the perfect time for something new to take on fashion.
“The benefit of the pandemic is that it came at a really good time – I’ve seen it in recent months,” he said, suggesting that Malta could play a huge part in administering this.
“Malta is an empty canvas at the moment. It can be painted in a fresh way and this pandemic can be the catalyst of this.”
His advice is simple: think locally before going global.
“My advice is to look at Malta. Don’t look at what global fashion houses and department stores are doing. Don’t go global until you’ve got a local stamp on your work.”
Looking inward and expert mentoring from established names like Rosen is a way Malta can make a mark on the international scene.
“There’s nothing missing here but advice,” he continued. “There’s no knowledge given about the pathway to fashion itself. I see people just looking at something current and reproducing it. No one is giving them the confidence to say “what you have is something unique” – and pushing them to follow through.
Rosen, who is already mentoring two local stylists with his work in the London Chamber of Fashion, is hoping to provide a space to nurture local talent to bring Malta to the next level.
“Fashion is all about storytelling. The stories are here: silversmithing, the ornate doors – it’s just an issue of confidence now,” he added.
And when the time is right, perhaps we can be leaders in post-pandemic trends – which Rosen predicts will shift towards the minimal, flamboyant or perhaps a cross between the two.
“Malta’s fashion scene could lead the way, they just need the right tools to do it.”
Do you think Malta could take on the global fashion industry?