Turning a passion for fashion design into a career
Stefan Vella recently graduated cum laude from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) with a Bachelor in Fashion and Technology (International Fashion and Design).
The institute is a branch of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and is the largest fashion institute in the Netherlands. It has been established since 1952 and is housed in what used to be Amstel’s original beer factory. Currently AMFI has 1,100 students and over 100 lecturers.
Vella embarked on a journey of turning his passion for fashion design into a career around this time four years ago when he moved to the Netherlands to read for the degree. Reflecting four years on, Vella commented: “I have to admit it was the best decision I have ever made. Leaving the island was not easy. I not only had to part ways with my family and closest friends, but also my comfort zone and all that is a familiar.
“My years at the AMFI were tough but immensely formative and enriching. On one side I learnt the technical side of garment construction, many times the hard way through trial and error. On the other hand I grew as a creative. I was pushed to think outside of the box and find inspiration in the least expected of places and apply this to new ideas, methods and techniques.”
I have to admit it was the best decision I have ever made
Vella acknowledged that his education at AMFI would not have been possible without his family’s wholehearted support, both financial and moral, which he described as crucial, as well as the financial support of being awarded an Arts Scholarship by the Malta Arts Scholarship scheme of the Education Ministry.
Vella said he now intends to focus on his aspiration of making a living doing what he loves most and become a successful professional in the highly competitive fashion industry.
His advice to young creatives contemplating leaving the island to further their studies in the creative arts is to go for it and to do proper research on support options. “Help might just be round the corner,” he added.
To check out Vella’s collection and to follow him on Instagram, log on to @stefanvellaahna.