Personalities

New Fashion Faces of Kuala Lumpur

Changing and shaking up the scene in Malaysia, they are the new trailblazers of fashion.

The local fashion scene has never been more disrupted than it is right now.

From budding designers who’ve clocked in time in Paris, Milan and Amsterdam to promising entrepreneurs disrupting the way fashion are consumed and models who offer more than just a pretty face – there are many new fashion forces who are changing the game and shaking up the scene.

And here are the many brilliant minds behind outstanding Malaysian brands and labels.

Brian Khoo, Fashion Designer

What do you do and why do you do it?
I’m a designer because I am a creative person and I strive to create beautiful things. The satisfaction of seeing my ideas come to life on real people is amazing.

Proudest accomplishments in the past year?
Interning as a designer assistant at Christian Dior Haute Couture in Paris and launching my first collection earlier this year.

An important lesson learned recently?
Since launching my label, I’ve been learning a lot about the fashion industry and how to start a business. I’ve also learnt to appreciate the smaller things in life because it’s so easy to get overwhelmed in this industry.

Chryseis Tan, Entrepreneur/GOXIP

What do you do and why do you do it?
I invested in Goxip because I see it bridging the gap between how fashion is discovered and how it’s bought.

Proudest accomplishment in the past year? 
Seeing Goxip get so many downloads in such a short time. On the App Store alone, we get 1,000-2,000 downloads a day.

Something you learned recently? 
I’ve been learning so much about the tech startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia. An app like Goxip can really help leverage the playing field for smaller merchants with quality products.

What do you love about fashion? 
I love how fashion lets you really represent who you are by what outfits you put on, what brands you buy, how you mix them. Fashion lets you tell your own unique story.

Shahrin Bahar, Fashion Designer

What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a menswear tailor, designer and illustrator because I’ve been sketching since 1995, so I might as well turn my hobby into a career.

Proudest accomplishment in the past year? 
Being part of Nike Football’s design team at the HQ in Oregon and the Netherlands. We designed the national team kits for Euro 2016.

Most looking forward to? 
The growth of my brand and realising the potential it has.

An important lesson learned recently? 
The tougher route is definitely more rewarding in the long run. What do you love about fashion? How it always reflects the current cultural, economical and sociopolitical climate.

Jia Wei Loo, EPIKSHOP.com

Last thing you celebrated? 
We recently celebrated our 500th order!

Most looking forward to? 
Welcoming a group of independent South East Asian brands to the site and expanding our shipping to Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

An important lesson learned recently? 
In business, don’t always trust your gut. Keep learning and arm yourself with new skills that help you research, analyse and execute better. 

What do you love about fashion? 
I love the depth. It’s often misunderstood as a vanity platform but it is also the economy, visual history, art, community, culture and more. What I particularly love about fashion today is how it democratises access. Everyone can have a front row seat via a screen.

Moto Guo, Fashion Designer

Proudest accomplishment in the past year?
Shortlisted for the LVMH Prize in March, and then invited by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to have an official runway slot at Milan Fashion Week.

Last thing you celebrated?
After our Milan show, my team and I went for a good, hearty lunch. It wasn’t fancy though; we were too exhausted.

Most looking forward to?
A very exciting collaboration with an accessories brand launching in October and working on our Autumn/Winter 2017 collection.

An important lesson learned recently?
Expectation kills.

What do you love about fashion?
The diversity and the unpredictability.

Shana Azahari, Accessories Designer

What do you do and why do you do it? 
I design art-centric bags under the label Azooi. I started out of love for art and bags and then it evolved into a strong dedication as my team expanded.

Proudest accomplishment in the past year? 
Having expanded our use of shells. Now we incorporate inlay work into our portfolio, allowing us to offer customised clutches.

An important lesson learned recently? 
I lost a close friend not too long ago. That was the first time I realised how unforgiving life can be. If you’re lucky enough to wake up, spend some time making sure the present would be beautiful.

Show love and build relationships. You already know what would make you better, you just have to commit to it.

Affendy Ali, Legal Consultant

What do you do and why do you do it? 
I am the legal counsel for MyCreative Ventures, the government’s investment arm for creative businesses. It’s exciting to be in an environment that deals with both creative and entrepreneurial minds.

Some lawyers are passionate about human rights or the environment; I’m all for the arts, fashion and everything creative.

Most looking forward to?
A trip to Bali for one of my best friends’ wedding. And strangely, roast turkey for Christmas.

An important lesson learned recently?
It is not a crime to wear sweatpants outside of the home and gym. On a more serious note, I learned that quiet time alone to reflect on yourself and the decisions you’ve made could really do you good.

Shuen Chiu, Rent A Dress

What do you do and why do you do it?
I found a designer dress rental service because of sustainability and a lack of accessibility. It was a waste when I used to wear dresses only once for an event. It was also a struggle to find quality apparel that was accessibly priced so I figured why not spend a little more to provide well-made pieces and share them with others.

Last thing you celebrated? 
A successful launch of our newly translated regional site at one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Singapore.

What do you love about fashion? 
I love that different people can wear the same piece so differently. I definitely act differently in different looks. Heels gives me a sexy boost, a strong shoulder makes me feel more con dent – there is so much power in fashion items!

Syed Adil Emir Putra, Model/Fencer

What do you do and why do you do it? 
I fence. I’ve always felt comfortable moving on the piste, feeling the ow of the game with my eyes, my blade and my intuition.It’s an artful sport, aggressive yet elegant.

Last thing you celebrated?
For my last birthday, my friends and I sneaked into the California Memorial Stadium and just chilled on the stadium seats. I won’t disclose everything I did that night, but it was definitely one to remember.

An important lesson learned recently?
On a recent weekend retreat in Krabi, I climbed one of the steepest mountains there. It taught me that to improve myself, I had to be courageous and persevere because not only did it build mental strength but the more I climbed, even though my life was literally hanging on a rope, the easier and more enjoyable it became.

Tuti Noor, Model

What do you do and why do you do it? 
I’m a model. I love the thrill and I love that I get to learn so much. It’s something I put my heart and soul into.

Proudest accomplishment in the past year? 
Walking for Biyan, one of Indonesia’s top designers.

Most looking forward to? 
Milan!

Last thing you celebrated? 
Raya. I got to spend quality time with my parents, and they are just the best cooks!

An important lesson learned recently? 
Don’t trust cats.

What do you love about fashion? 
Meeting so many interesting and optimistic explorers.

Photography: Aaron Lee/Lenswork Productions
Styling: Jeffrey Yan
Makeup: Cat Yong
Hair: Bibian Leong
 

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