The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

From Sweden with fashion…

Marika Azzopardi Tuesday, 20 November 2018, 08:36 Last update: about 19 days ago

She hails from Sweden but has spent the last few years living in Malta. When she landed on the island, little did Maria Möller know that, five years hence, she would not only have established her own business, but also have launched her very own fashion line.

It all kicked off with her love of vintage fashion. "I always adored vintage fashion wear, and personally I love to mix contemporary with vintage to create a unique style. Way back when I lived in my hometown Halmstad and eventually also when I moved to Stockholm, I had the inclination to admire and practise design. So, the very first hint of things to come was born already in Sweden. Part of me always wanted to open a shop and my wish came true when I moved to Malta."

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Fly the Fly Vintage, as Maria's shop in Sliema is called, opened its doors to an enthusiastic crowd in May 2016 and now, the thriving business concentrates on authentic vintage as well as contemporary produced garments with a quirky touch. This was to be the first step towards what would follow as a natural consequence.

The shop itself was created and designed with a medley that happily married Maltese traditional architecture and interiors with a touch of Scandinavia. Then, as the months progressed, Maria began to realise that something was lacking within the range of fashionwear she was offering and the very décor of her shop inspired her strongly.

During the spring months of 2018, she began sketching her fashion designs, inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese styles. "I adore the clean bold lines which both styles have in common. These two countries enjoy fashion trends that are both minimalistic and elegant in a sophisticated way. I wanted to design something to this effect."

With high quality fabrics hand-picked in Sicily, Maria set off to create a fashion collection composed mostly of natural fibres such as cotton, silk and denim. "I have valiantly tried to minimise the synthetics within the collection. I must admit that sourcing fine fabrics has been the hardest challenge to overcome. Finding a good seamstress was not half as difficult and I must say that I have found an excellent person in the sewing division. And I must stress, proudly so too, that all garments in my collection are rigorously studio-made in Malta. For now, I have invested my energy to focus on fashionwear for women. Next season I plan to create a smaller range for men as well."

Who are her clients? Surprisingly, Maria says, "I thought my biggest fans would be foreigners in Malta. However, I have been pleasantly taken unawares by the fact that half of my clients are Maltese. It seems as if they were hankering after something of the sort". I am piqued enough to ask her what she thinks of Maltese fashion sense. "Initially, when I arrived on Malta, I must be honest..... I was not impressed - Maltese women were wearing too much of the same. But over the past years I have seen a tangible improvement in the way most Maltese women dress. There are many fashionable ladies out there and they are increasing rapidly."

The name of her shop, Fly the Fly Vintage has been happily transferred onto her collection. I ask the question Maria has heard several times over since the name came to be - What does Fly the Fly mean?  "In the beginning I made up a character about Fly, simply a fly, but a unique one, which enjoys browsing vintage high-end clothing in different cities of the world. This cute story was inspired by our own vintage hunting expeditions and experiences, and it provided the name for my shop Fly the Fly Vintage and now Fly the Fly fashion brand..."

Fly the Fly fashion wear is available at Fly the Fly Vintage, 6 Manuel Dimech Street, Sliema.

For more information phone on:  9938 2377; while the website flythefly.com will be available in December.


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