Fern Mallis

International ambassadress of the project Barcelona Designers' Collective, 2015 edition. Winning creator of the Fashion Week in New York City.

Can you talk to us about your involvement with this year's Barcelona Designers’ Collective?
This is my first experience, seeing and participating with the Barcelona Designers’ Collective. I’ve looked to all of the various products design in the retail store in here and I’m being very impressed with it. I’m here to help give it some more visibility and talk about it to the media. I look forward to meeting the designers, and if there’s advice that I can give them, I’m here to do that.

What initially attracted you to the project and why is it important to you?
I’ve spent my entire career nurturing and sustaining emerging talent, and consulting many different fashion weeks around the country that focus on emergent talent. I’m a big supporter of that, so when I was invited by La Roca Village to participate, I thought this would be a lovely opportunity to further that mission of discovering and helping emerging talent.

The Barcelona Designers’ Collective will not only discover but also champion emerging design talent - what qualities do you think are essential to succeed in today's design and fashion industries?
The first element is talent and creativity and creating something that has a point of view and that is not something you see anywhere else. What you need to be successful in this industry is that vision, passion and you need a partner, you need financing and you need to know how to run a business or have a partner who can run that business with you.

In your opinion, what a designer has to do to emerge?
One of the things a designer can do is get their application and try to get into this Designer Collective of La Roca Village. This is a whole new world with internet and social media, so they need to cultivate and create a strong social media presence. There are a lot of young emerging designers that don’t even have to be in a breaking modern store anymore. They can really do business in this new area, but they need to have an identity and a point of view on something that is consistent.

Why should La Roca Village customers be excited about the Barcelona Designers’ Collective?
It’s an exciting opportunity for all the international guests and all the shoppers that are coming through here who know what some of the brands are and what they are looking at in the village. But I think there’s a sense of discovery, of discovering something new, and all good shoppers like to find something that nobody else has, and the Barcelona Designers’ Collective really allows that sense of discovery.

You’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in fashion - is there one piece of advice you have learned that you can share with our readers?
From the interviews I’ve conducted, the one thing that is interestingly a common thread through most of the interviewees is, in fact, how important each of these people’s grandmothers was. Their grandmothers were a force that really played a role in their careers. But, the interesting thing about my interviewees is that you learn something from each one of them about how they conduct it and grew their business, and there are many lessons to learn. Many of them are advice like work and retail, work for other designers before you start your own business, learn as much as you can, and stay committed and passionate about what you do.

What does Barcelona’s creativity mean to you?
I’ve been reading enough things, enough friends that have just come back from here. What everybody is buzzing about is how much they love Barcelona. I’m looking forward to learning and seeing more, so I can give you a better answer for that question.

What's your personal style philosophy – are there any fashion rules you live by?
No, I don’t really live by any fashion rules. My personal style is very eclectic and it’s very global. I wear lot of clothes from India and Indian designers because I’ve worked in Fashion weeks for ten years in India, and I go there all the time. Now, I’m wearing many necklaces and lots of things around my neck. More is better for me, more is not less or less is not more. I try to do things that work for me, you will never see me carrying the it-bag or something that everybody else in the world is wearing and carrying.

What’s your best styling tip?
Feeling comfortable and confident and secure because if you are wearing something you are not sure works, and you feel a little bit insecure, you’ll be uncomfortable and not having a good time no matter what you are doing. It’s important to wear shoes that you can walk in because I’ve seen too many women wearing shoes and being victims. Nothing is worse than suffering just because you are trying to look great and not enjoying what’s happening around you.

Barcelona Designers' Collective Opening ceremony