Martin Hughes, partner of Moss Adams and its national apparel practice leader | Photo courtesy of Moss Adams
Christian Chensvold, contributing writer | Thursday, September 1, 2022
Los Angeles is an award-winning city – because it’s full of people who are constantly winning awards for something – and not just in Hollywood but also in the fashion industry. And now, after a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Moss Adams Fashion Innovator Award is back and will help start Los Angeles Fashion Week October 6 at Lighthousea location perfectly located in the heart of Hollywood’s award-winning epicenter.
The MAFI award recognizes a California-based apparel company that over the past year has exemplified creativity and innovation. This could be in the area of design, marketing and commerce or in two new categories: sustainability and diversity.
“The industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years,” said Martin Hughes, partner of Moss Adams and its national apparel practice leader, “and our brands today face the new challenge of so many of distribution channels – bricks and mortar, e-commerce and sales to department stores and specialty stores.
Given the complexity of today’s market, picking a winner is no easy task. “A company doesn’t have to tick all the boxes because we don’t expect a brand to do something innovative in every category,” Hughes said. “Winners are brands that do great things in the industry and ultimately have a great product and can put on an amazing runway with pieces from the collection that are showpieces that grab media attention.”
The MAFI award was created in 2003 to allow Moss Adams, which markets itself as a fully integrated professional services firm, to honor an industry with which it has close ties. “We’re doing this to give back to a great industry that has been wonderful to our business,” Hughes said, “and also to recognize the incredible fashion talent we have here in California.”
The MAFI award is given to any California-based clothing brand, with LAFW suggesting possible candidates. A pool of about ten is selected, the winner being notified in advance in order to prepare a fashion show. The public only learns of the winner on the night of the event as part of the Los Angeles Fashion Week opening night celebrations.
Previous MAFI winners include Frankie B, Nally and Millie, TRACKS, AS by DF, Petro Zillia and Elie Madi. The last winner, in 2019, was Castillo Coral.
Moss Adams has a long history of catering to the garment industry through its 30 locations and staff of 3,800. It is primarily an accountancy firm, providing audits, tax work and advisory services covering a wide range of needs including business valuations and sales and various off-the-books tax challenges. state and international posed by the e-commerce business model. .