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Malaysian Talents Making Waves In The Fashion Industry – The Top 10
Malaysia has been known to produce some notable fashion designers such as Dato’ Jimmy Choo, Dato’ Bernard Chandran, and Dato’ Farah Khan. More recently, every Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW) showcases more and more budding talents in the fashion industry. Unsurprisingly, some of these young talents are even making headlines overseas. Here is a first-hand look at Top 10 of Malaysia’s list of the nation’s upcoming fashion designers who are unique personalities in more ways than one.
Keek Wen Han
Keek Wen Han’s debut graduation collection “Out Like A Light” sparked international recognition which led him to launch eponymous menswear label, Moto Guo in 2015. Moto weaves his works to form a tale much like a storyteller, by drawing inspirations from his life experiences, and infusing ideas with intriguing technical elements to convey his vivid imagination into tangible reality, with a vintage touch. Moto was selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious LVMH Prize 2016, and recommended by Sara Maino, senior editor of Vogue to host a runway show for the June 2016 Men’s Milan Fashion Week.
Dato’ Tiffanee Marie Lim
As Vice President of Brand, Creativity and Talent Development at Limkokwing University and Creative Director of Limkokwing Fashion Club, it comes as no surprise that Dato’ Tiffanee Marie Lim has accomplished much. She launched the world’s first fashion label by a university when she founded Limkokwing Fashion Club. Inspiration from young designers who are multi-talented with a sense of style, gives Lim the inspiration to excel in her own right. Lim has been given recognition on many fronts in the world of fashion and has organized the first fashion show by a Malaysian university on the iconic River Seine in Paris.
Bon Zainal is one of Malaysia’s top award-winning fashion designers, fashion mentors, image gurus, and fashion-preneur. His exclusive bespoke menswear designs have elevated the fashion consciousness of Malaysian men due to the creative edge he has built over the past two decades. Bon recently established his own boutique in Sri Hartamas, known as Bon Zainal. Garnering many accolades and awards over the years, some of his more notable accomplishments include the Mercedes-Benz STYLO Fashion Awards ‘Best Designer Showcase’ 2015, launch of his womenswear fashion collection, BON Bon at the World Fashion Week 2014 (WFW) in Paris, and a successful showcase at the Northern Territory Fashion Week 2014 in Darwin, Australia.
Sereni Linggi & Brenda Shen-Tel Lee
Sereni and Shentel were in search of fancy head gear for a Lady Gaga concert, and found some head bands online which unfortunately did not live up to their expectations. This prompted them to salvage the situation and create their own. The end-product surprisingly drew a lot of attention at the concert itself among girls. From then on, the Sereni & Shentel brand was created. They became more well-known after appearing on the covers of magazines and talk shows. Not long after, their headbands were seen on hit TV shows, Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives. They have their mini wardrobe crisis to thank for, as they now own a successful brand housed under a Malaysian-incorporated company called The Playground Borneo.
Local clothing brand, Twenty3, was launched 3 years ago, a day before CEO Sherlyn Tan turned 24 and hence, the name Twenty3. She started off with an online clothing shop as she always had a good eye in fashion, but unfortunately did not find much success. With her last RM 5,000, she flew to Bangkok and told herself it was a make it or break it situation with a run for supply and she finally made it. Twenty3 ended up making close to RM1 million in its first year of business and now has outlets all around Klang Valley.
Yong Tiong Tan
LAGUNA SYDNEY is the label and creative vision of Yong Tiong Tan. Having 16 years of industry experience, Yong started the development of his own business in 2011, and in April 2015 LAGUNA SYDNEY was launched in Sydney, Australia. Since Yong’s debut in 2015, he has crafted and presented his LAGUNA SYDNEY collection in New York Fashion Week amongst other established designers. Specialising in relaxed resort wear with glitzy, yet urban bohemian edge, Yong’s designs are simplistic and his patterns and textures are able to transform any garment into an artistic masterpiece. His elegant, but not excessive philosophy is where he found the most success.
Syomir Izwa Sen-Gupta
No stranger to humble beginnings, designer Syomir Izwa started his brand in the modest surroundings of his own home but little did the bourgeoning designer know that his creations would one day come to drape the shoulders of high-profile celebrities. Syomir Izwa Sen-Gupta is the creative director for fashion powerhouse, Syomirizwa Gupta. Over the years Syomir’s distinguished designs have graced A-list actresses, entertainers and TV hosts, including Yuna, Marion Caunter and Deborah Henry. Syomir has also taken to the international arena through his design for Carey Ng – Malaysia’s representative to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, where Ng wore Syomir’s unforgettable songket interpretation of the Puteri Perak ensemble during the national costume segment.
Fairuz produces 4 labels under his wing, which are FAIRUZ RAMDAN, Fairuz Ramdan Bespoke, FR Blue Label and FR Black Market and there are 10 retail outlets all over Malaysia. Previously, he co-founded “The Garment Movement” which was led by Wak Doyok, a street fashion icon. Among his accolades include Best Dressed Man, Top 10 Best Designers, Designer of the Year, Most Fashionable Muse and the list goes on.
Upon discovering her strong passion in fashion while interning at a publication as a fashion writer, Cassey started her eponymous womenswear label, Cassey Gan. She envisions that women are empowered through her products with a sense of confidence for she believes that fashion is the appropriate vehicle. Since inception, her brand has graced KL Fashion Week events, gained international coverage including a feature on CNN, and is well supported by major fashion magazines including Elle. This young Malaysian talent was also featured in Vogue Italia’s global edition of “Discovering fashion’s future generation of talent”.
As a young college student, Harmini could not afford to go for a concert and her parents told her to figure out how she was going to make some money on her own. A friend suggested that she sells her handmade jewellery that she had made for herself as a hobby. Since then, her business took off and she is now one of the first of ‘home-made’ designers have achieved this scale of commercial success in Malaysia. Her Facebook page has garnered some 15,000 likes, and her best-sellers are her customised dreamcatchers. This fashion influencer has been featured in publications and shows that include Seventeen Magazine, The Star and 8TV Quickie.