The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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FIRST: Three Maltese fashion designers

First Magazine Thursday, 17 August 2017, 08:21 Last update: about 8 years ago

These young women share a passion for Malta and patterns and they are all daring, creative and very interesting. By Line Young Peteri

Carla Grima, Ritienne Zammit AND Désirée Azzopardi
Carla Grima, Ritienne Zammit AND Désirée Azzopardi

Carla Grima, 28, Iklin - the Maltese Resort Princess

I missed seeing Carla Grima at the Malta Fashion Week, but we were invited to her show at Broadside Terrace at Corinthia Palace. It was wonderful, with a very vibrant and sophisticated mix of colours, using light and airy materials. The collection was delicate and sophisticated, yet playful and fun - just like Carla herself!


A word from Carla: "I grew up surrounded by ceramic artists at my father's ceramic factory. I always loved watching them painting and playing with clay. I was lucky enough to spend my summers working there, learning how to paint Mediterranean designs onto ceramics. I studied 3D design for three years at MCAST, experimenting with textiles and researching fashion designers and photographers. This inspired me to move to England and further my career in fashion - which all grew quite organically."

Ritienne Zammit, 29, Valletta - The Pattern Queen of Valletta

Ritienne is one of the best designers in Malta; her clothes are exceptional, wonderful and perfectly crafted. Where for some designers it is just about seasonal creations, Ritienne creates timeless pieces. She is true child of Valletta and I think - after living in Malta for eight years - that there is something very loyal and passionate about the people from Valletta. The love and pride they have for Malta's 'little-big' capital is wonderful.

A word from Ritienne: "From a very young age, I always enjoyed being creative. Drawing dresses on pieces of paper was one of my greatest pleasures and my passion for design prompted me to study it at college. I developed my own style, learned different techniques and also pursued my love of Fine Arts and the history of art and design. When I left college I continued developing my design skills by founding and developing my own brand."

Désirée Azzopardi, 28, San Pawl Tat-Targa - The Fashion Artist

I liked Désirée from the moment I met her: she has a kind and very beautiful soul that shines through her eyes. She has a softness about her and is one of those people you find hard to imagine being angry or upset - and even if it she was - I bet she would look sweet! Her sensitivity also shines in her work - through her beautiful hand-painted shoes and bags: making ordinary things wonderful and unique.

A word from Désirée: "I've been a full-time interior designer since 2011 and designing and personalising shoes and bags for the past two-and-a-half years. From a young age I was always painting anything I could get my hands on, ranging from furniture to walls and all sorts of materials. I took up art immediately at school and studied it up to advanced Level. Then I became involved in design - studying it locally, as well as abroad, to degree level. In 2011 I opened my own business in interior design and that has been my full-time job ever since. And then there was a moment when I was staring down at my feet, clad in a pair of plain Nike running shoes, and I got the idea of painting them. I immediately began experimenting! When I checked online, I discovered that this is quite common particularly - particularly in the USA, where they even have sneaker-design competitions! However, being me, I didn't want to do something that everyone was doing, so I took my idea of hand-painting on to stilettos, all sorts of heels and occasion shoes. I began experimenting further with leather and synthetic materials and techniques and from there I developed my work on handbags and produced my own collection of leather bags. I took part in Malta Fashion Week last year and again this year - and I've never looked back!"

Line Young Peteri is the co-owner of and an ambassador for Dove Malta. Follow her on and


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