Interview With Melanie Pace-Lupi

The bag is eye-catching, innovative, practical and unorthodox yet classical. The designer is level-headed, creative and has a promising future ahead of her. had the pleasure of interviewing Melanie Pace-Lupi, a Maltese fashion graduate who has just won an award for her handbag design in the Urban Outfitters x Arts Thread Make It Competition.


How did you get to be at the University for the Creative Arts?

Since Malta does not have a BA in Fashion, I started looking at courses available all over Europe. I then chose the UK to start off in a country which spoke English so that I could fully understand what I was learning.

Using the UCAS system, I applied to various Universities in the UK but I finally selected UCA, Epsom, because it offered a Foundation year which specialised in Fashion. As I had no experience at this point, this helped me understand what was required.


Your sold out over-sized piped bag which won the Urban Outfitters competition was primarily inspired by American sculptor Louise Nevelson. Who, and what else, inspires you to create?

I think the best part about designing is that anything can inspire you. Art, dance, history, culture and even everyday life is hugely inspiring to me and I can find inspiration all around me.


What features do you consider to be important in your designs? For example practicality, versatility, timeless style – are these all important?

It depends on what I am creating. I designed the bag for UrbanOutfitters to be more practical than the first bag which I designed for my graduate collection. I enjoy creating art out of fabrics but I like to consider the functionality of a garment and how it moves.

Which fabrics and materials do you like to work with?

I don’t like to limit my options with materials and fabrics. The feel and quality of a fabric is important to me. I have worked mostly with woven fabrics.


What do you think is key to a show-stopping outfit?

I guess it would be an outfit with the right proportions and colour palette which is finished to a high standard. How a garment fits is also quite essential.

We’ve recently seen monumental influences from 70s, 80s, and 90s styles. Where do you think fashion will be heading in the near future?

In my opinion there will always be references to different cultures, styles and eras. This a part of the design process and we learn from what has been done already. However, I am not very interested in trend forecasting at the moment. As much as I understand the importance of trends, I like the concept of slow fashion right now.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

It is difficult to say because of how fast-paced the fashion industry is. I believe I will have developed a lot of my skills, grown as a creative person and hopefully climbed the career ladder. I hope I will grow further within the Roland Mouret brand as I love this company and everyone I work with but it wouldn’t be a bad thing if I explored other opportunities in time too.