Malta’s Fashion Elite: Matthew Attard Navarro
IGGY FENECH chats to Matthew Attard Navarro, a man whose vision produced one of Malta’s most followed online cultural magazines.
Matthew Attard Navarro describes himself, as ‘calm, patient and ambitious; and always on the lookout for something new,’ and as someone who has had the pleasure to work with Matthew over the years, no words could describe him better.
Matthew arguably became a household name with the launch of Platinum Love, Malta’s first e-zine focusing on high-fashion photography and contemporary culture all the way back in 2007. Widely read by many, this online-magazine soon evolved into a printed one, and it wasn’t much later that its founder co-launched, and became the editor of, Milkshake magazine.
In 2012 Matthew went on to launch the Platinum Institute, Malta’s very own institute for fashion education and, although it is still in its research phase, by 2018 it will give many the opportunity to go beyond the academic side of fashion and straight into the industry - at least in theory.
Now residing in London, Matthew is currently working in the design and development department at VICE Media, the world’s youth media company, where his job as an art director continually involves him in campaigns and digital activation for their respected global luxury clients.
With such a vast repertoire of achievements, I just had to sit down with Matthew and ask him all about his job, his life and his view on some current issues.
Iggy Fenech: What’s the best part of your job?
Matthew Attard Navarro: I love that I get to meet new people and the fact that it’s so vast and broad. It’s great to explore new ideas and create something out of nothing.
IF: What does being an editor actually mean? What is your job in the process of creating an issue of Platinum Love?
MAN: Selecting between what is bad and what is good; working with people, so: writers, guest photographers and artists; and collaborating on creating something people want to read. Then there is the commercial aspect, (brand partnerships, advertising and events) which is exciting and fun too.
IF: Who do you draw inspiration from?
MAN: I look at various artists and art directors, innovators and influencers. People with a vision, such as Olivier Zahm from Purple Magazine, Mike Meire the art director at Meire und Meire, and Joerg Koch at 032c.
IF: Where would you like your career to take you next? Anyone in particular you’d like to work with?
MAN: Having been in the industry for a while I have worked with many Maltese people who are on the scene. I would be more than thrilled to discover new people to work with in Malta, however.
IF: What do you hate the most about the fashion scene in Malta?
MAN: That it's implosive and tired. The current scene would probably be relevant 20 years ago. I always say there is no understanding about what the word ‘fashion’ means in Malta. Mostly understood as a craft or a hobby, like with most art ventures on the island.
I’ve heard students from local art schools state their tutors put them off continuing studies in the sector. There are few creative fashion businesses, only a couple of designers, mostly retail boutiques which stock the same stock, and little support from local public funds due to the commercial aspect, while, in the rest of the world, art sells, and it’s also funded.
I’ve learnt to shrug it off and ignore most of it all now.
IF: How do you feel about the current situation in Russia with regards to the LGBT community?
MAN: It’s such a sad situation. And Russia’s only doing it to provoke the Western world. What is even sadder is that it's 2013 and the country is going back in time, with rights that have existed for ages being stripped back.
IF: Some quick-fire questions now:
What’s your opinion on:
Some people wear them.
You can follow Matthew Attard Navarro’s career and contact him through various platforms.
What do you think of Matthew’s opinion on the current fashion scene in Malta? We’d love to hear from you!