Roberto Malizia, aka @this.is.malice is one of the fastest growing personal brands in Australia right now, and has joined an elite list of content creators who use their image to educate and inspire. The rise and rise of social media influencers is not slowing down anytime soon, every more so bolstered by the recent introduction of a paid partnership tool by Instagram to better acknowledge the fact that brands are happy to part with large sums of money to see their wares flaunted by the (oft ostensibly) rich and famous. The reason people are turning to social media apps like Instagram, and specifically accounts like @this.is.malice for their style cues is obvious: unique individuals, like Roberto Malizia, who curate their own content are both palpable and relatable.
Landing in Australia five years ago, the very-Italian Roberto Malizia has quickly made his mark as one of Instagram’s favourite men’s style beacons, through his Instagram page This Is Malice. Perhaps it’s the ’40s-New-York-gangster-meets-modern-street look that Roberto regularly flaunts on his accounts, or maybe its the fact that he doesn’t seem to give too many f*cks about what other people think. Maybe it’s the tatts. Whatever it is that has given the bold-styled Malizia given his huge following, he’s undeniably one of the best out there – we got in touch and asked him a few questions about how he’s run his own race (as is just getting started).
When did you decide that a career in fashion was for you?
Fashion runs through my veins, it’s probably the only thing I know. But starting my Instagram [I] probably consolidated my passion and transformed it into a job.
When you landed in Melbourne, did you know that people would be so responsive to your unique style?
When I landed I could hardly speak English, so I worked in hospitality till 1 year ago, but yeah, I knew that I could be the point of difference in the market, with [a] mix of edgy and classic, which is very strong at the moment.
Tell us about your first tattoo.
My first tattoo is a Polynesian lizard on my shoulder, probably the tattoo I hate the most haha – but it’s important because it’s the first one, so I would never remove it. [It] doesn’t even have a meaning or anything, I was just very young when I did it.
What would you say is the future for influencer marketing?
Good question. I don’t really know what to expect for the future in social media, it’s fundamental for influencers to stay focused and be smart; to spot and jump on the next big social media [platform] when Instagram will be old news. When? A few years time probably. This app’s got a lot to give to us yet.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve been given?
Stay true to yourself and keep your integrity; never compromise your style for money. And that’s what I did.
What’s the difference between a good Instagram photo and a great one?
High resolution photos makes the difference in this field, but landscapes and locations are fundamental as well; it’s a mix of things that makes a photo awesome.
What do you miss most about Italy?
My mum’s cannelloni! Haha.
What’s been the biggest improvement in men’s style you’ve observed since landing in Australia?
Australia’s style is getting better and better every year thanks to the European influence, I can see people mixing combos between pocket squares and ties now, something so rare 5 years ago, or wearing nice sneakers under a suit for a work day. Boys are starting to look after themselves a lot more.
What’s the one thing men need to stop doing in the wardrobe department?
Wearing dotted socks. I can’t stand them, sorry haha.
Will you be doing this forever, or is there another passion on the horizon?
I want to build my network and my name for the next two years; I’m having fun now. Then I will start working on my [own] label.