Mary Alice Malone Joins the Fashion Trust Arabia Advisory Board

Lindsay Judge   |   07-06-2022

Mary Alice Malone, Founder and Creative Director of Malone Souliers, joins the Fashion Trust Arabia advisory board, helping to highlight and foster new talent in the region.


Accessories brand Malone Souliers burst onto the scene and instantly gained attention thanks to its elegant, instantly recognisable, high-quality designs. This cult brand was founded by American-born designer Mary Alice Malone in 2014 and its rapid growth has seen it become a must-have for fashion-conscious women, especially those who are in the know when it comes to the latest brands and designs. Mary Alice has a distinctive design style and approach to heading up a brand that has gone unchanged since the early days, and she is very much a part of all aspects of the company and continues to do things her way.



This year Mary Alice Malone has been chosen as one of the members of Fashion trust Arabia’s advisory board for the 2022 Annual Prize. Taking place in Doha, Qatar on 26th October 2022, the event awards winners in four categories who have shown inspiring design and business talent. Focusing on young and upcoming designers in the region the annual prize offers winners a financial grant towards funding their brands as well as a one-year partnership with British luxury retailer Matchesfashion, which includes a mentorship programme and the opportunity to showcase their collections across all Matchesfashion channels. In addition, they will receive guidance on sustainability from ethical fashion retailer Maison de Monde.


Mary Alice will join the likes of Erdem Moralioglu, Olivier Theyskens, Gaia Repossi, Pierre M’Pelé and Piergiorgio Del Moro on this year’s board as these experts work to showcase and highlight exceptional design talent in the Middle East. We find out more about Mary Alice’s participation as well as what we can expect to see from her own brand over the coming months.



Congratulations on becoming part of the FTA’s advisory award – what does it mean to you to be part of this platform?

I am incredibly grateful and thrilled to be part of the advisory board. Helping upcoming talents to emerge in the industry is something I’m very passionate about, and I can’t wait to start.


How do you think Fashion Trust Arabia is helping to foster talent in the Middle East and what do you see as the benefits of the organisation?

I have always believed that talent needs to be supported, no matter what someone’s background is. Fashion Trust Arabia is giving this opportunity to young creatives in the MENA region, and that is why I am so honoured to be part of their board. Supporting Fashion Trust Arabia is a natural step for me and Malone Souliers, considering the amazing support we have had from the region.


What will you be looking for from the chosen designers and what are your thoughts on the industry and the talent here in the Middle East?

I am always so fascinated by the originality and creativity that these young talented designers have and that is definitely what I will be looking for. At the same time, as I am actively part of the business side of Malone Souliers, so I want to see a sense of commercial understanding from them.

It is very refreshing to see some unique concepts and visions, I live quite far away from the Middle East but seeing such energy makes me feel so close and connected.



How do you like to use your experience and knowledge to help foster upcoming talent?

I am always open to opportunities where I can talk about my experience and discuss what I have learnt throughout my journey in the industry. I have been part of a few talks, presentations, and discussions in the past, where I was able to offer advice to young women on how to start their own brands.


What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring designers?

Trust your feelings. This is something I continue to tell myself every day.



What is the biggest challenge you have faced throughout your career and how did you overcome it?

Launching your own brand in itself is a challenge. Surrounding yourself with trusted, passionate, and skilled people is what leads you to overcome difficult situations. The journey will always have its ups and downs but having the right team supporting you is what makes the difference.


What is a challenge you are yet to overcome?

How to be everywhere at once!



Who is a mentor or someone that has inspired or helped you on your journey?

My mentor is actually a member of my team. I am so incredibly lucky and grateful that I get to work alongside her every day. The learnings and the guidance have been invaluable, especially in the early years of the brand, and being able to sit right next to her in the office and continuously learn has been truly so beneficial. When it is your own company and your own brand, my honest suggestion is to be bold and humble enough to hire people who are more qualified and knowledgeable than you are.


What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Hire around your strengths and weaknesses.


What is the professional motto that you live by?

Work hard, be focused, be open to good advice, be adaptable and never stop dreaming.



Tell us a little about your own brand in the Middle East and what can we can expect to see moving forward?

The Middle East is a key market for Malone Souliers. We have a very trusted following and long-term partnerships with some of the best retailers and we are definitely looking to expand our presence in the region. Doha is home to our first ever boutique in the region, a milestone I am very proud of.


Can you share a little about your latest collections?

My collections take inspiration from different elements each season. For Spring/Summer 22 for example, I wanted to express the optimistic energy of summer, meanwhile, for Autumn/Winter 22 I explored the symbolism of Surrealist art. Despite the different inspirations, with all of my collections, I try to be as conscious as possible when it comes to waste, by finding new ways to use past stock and giving new life to archival materials. We also always ensure we are true to the Malone Souliers ethos.



What can we expect to see from you for the rest of the year?

We have a lot of exciting projects taking form as we speak. We are planning some new collaborations, which I’m sure you will hear about soon, and I’m particularly thrilled to present our upcoming Spring/Summer 23 collection to buyers in both New York and Paris this summer. This is going to be the first in-person key activity since before lockdown.


What is one thing you would still like to do with the brand that you haven’t done yet?

I don’t really have a bucket list for the brand. There is a constant evolution of goals and achievement that is always adjusting to this world.


What is a message you would send to our readers and your fans in the Middle East?

The Middle East holds a dear place in my heart. Every time I visit it’s so incredible to be greeted with such positivity, and I will never forget visiting our Middle Eastern customers for the first time.