11 Mar AFA jury member Rosario Morabito
Rosario Morabito is an Italian fashion writer based in London. He is contributing editor to the Vogue Talents platform and writes about fashion, lifestyle and design primarily for VOGUE Italia, L’UOMO Vogue, MFF, BoF, ZOO Magazine and FRAME.
This year he is also part of the AFA – Austrian Fashion Awards jury.
Despite his busy life he found the time to answer some questions about fashion journalism, Vienna and his latest fashion discoveries. Thank you, Rosario!
What is the most important thing to you when writing about fashion?
It depends on which publication I am writing for: sometimes the angle is more financial, focused on the business side of the industry. Others is more on young talents, and therefore looking for designers with their own, unique voice. In general, my job is to report and tell stories, and as such the most important thing is always delivering a fair picture of what I see (whether it’s a designer’s personal story or a collection’s true meaning).
As a jury member of the AFA – Austrian Fashion Awards, what are the most important criteria you look at in a label´s work?
I like when someone thinks out of the box: even if at first it might seem a bit random, unusual or unconventional design shows originality, and the ability to be truly creative even in other contexts. Secondly, consistency is very important: a collection needs to make sense as a whole, meaning the designer has learned to control his own ideas, rather than get carried away by them. I also like to see how a designers use their inspiration, what they do with it, if they’re able to deconstruct it and translate it onto something different.
What are your three top tips for young fashion designers?
First, study, a lot, and learn as much as you can about your craft before hitting the spotlight: this is an industry where everyone has very little time and a very short attention span, and your work has to be convincing when the right people look at it.
Second, give your work a meaning. Whether a commercial, purely aesthetic or conceptual, a strong identity and purpose is what will make your brand stand out, and ultimately get you followers and clients.
Third, be ready: have your look book done, your social media in place, you business card and website set, be responsive when contacted, show you’re someone organized, trustworthy and ready to do business with. Talent only won’t get you there.
Have you ever thought of Vienna as a „fashion city“?
Vienna is a beautiful city ranked the world’s top place to live in, it has an incredible artistic heritage and a unique atmosphere: all things that can certainly influence talented fashion designers. The challenge, as a “fashion city”, would be to find its own place in a crowded and competitive map.
How would you describe your personal style? What does it express?
I don’t dress to impress, I know what suits me and I stick to that. This said, I like quirky details, but it’s hard to find classy ones in menswear. I guess it shows I’m more interested in quality over trends and in nonseasonal, lasting garments that you love wearing until they fall apart.
Your latest fashion discovery?
Ria Keburia from Georgia and Anna October from Kiev: surprising talents from unusual latitudes.