Five questions with… Mike Adler

Mike Adler, ADB Agency

Five questions with… Mike Adler

2nd February 2021

One of the great opportunities provided by our Student Design Competition is the chance to get your work seen by our influential judging panel. Drawn from throughout the fashion, design and leather industries, between them, they know design inside out. 

Meet the fashion stylist – Mike Adler

Biker style black leather jacket.1/ How did you get started?

Right place, right time! After a short stint modelling, in my home city of Perth Australia, a fashion week designer that I had walked the runway for allowed me to assist on a female led shoot. The stylist fell ill, so I volunteered to take on the role and, as luck would have it, an editor walking by loved the shoot and offered me further work.


2/ What is the one thing you have done that you are most proud of?

For sure, the amazing collaborations with many names who I admired when I was young. The iconic photographers, A-list celebrities, leading magazines, global brands, private clients and hugely talented artists that I am grateful to receive continued requests from. My agency and the support of the industry is my biggest appreciation. It’s these people and collaborations that have seen my work featured among their famous exhibitions and books, it’s awe-inspiring and humbling.


3/ If you hadn’t become a fashion stylist, what would you have been?

I had trained as a chef, worked as a dancer and was always into singing and acting – so really, who knows! But I am beyond appreciative to have fallen into this career. The lifestyle and opportunities, travel, friendships, rarities and luxuries that this industry has afforded me have been truly unique.


4/ What do you look for in outstanding design?

I am very classic and traditional, I like practical. A great design has to translate onto the body and make sure it serves its intended purpose. I look at fabric, texture, silhouette, colour and overall craftsmanship. Even if it’s inexpensive, it must be executed well. I am very particular when making an expensive purchase — either for myself or for a client — it has to be something I love absolutely, liking it is not just enough, in order to responsibly justify the price tag!


5/ What would you say is the number one quality needed to last in the fashion industry?

It’s under the same umbrella, but it revolves around patience, respect, responsibility and hard work! A relentless respect for the role and the responsibility of managing garments and money. I always say to my team its not just a piece, at the end of the day consider it as cash—someone is paying for it, me, the client, the brand, the PR currency of a circulating garment. It’s an ongoing challenge to respect what we really do at the end of the day and how we strive for its success. Taking the extra time to do it right within a fast-paced industry and as a team takes focus, planning and patience. Its really less about the style and more about the admin—how you approach every day, every job, every client and every brand. The contacts, the relationships, the logistics, the care and graciousness, we can only work towards doing it well enough to, hopefully, last!