NEW YORK: Facing fierce competition on the export front for its array of traditional products, Malaysia is foraying into the United States (US), the world’s largest market in value terms for fashion products and accessors, with a crop of budding fashion designers eager to stamp their mark on the global market.
The just-concluded New York Couture Fashion Week provided a scintillating display of the creativity of Malaysia’s fashion designer aspirants.
Interspersed with tribal dances with music organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, Malaysian designers made a strong pitch for their creative prowess manifested in the colourful and innovative collections with avant-gardist designs presented by them before an audience that included fashion experts and others.
Adli Afandi, a Johor Baru designer, who specialises in bridal dresses – with both traditional and international designs – is now trying to enter the ready-to-wear couture segment.
“I also customise clothing for various clothing. Our markets so far have been Malaysia and Singapore but I am trying to break into the US market. We are planning to use online facilities, and work with Malaysian Government offices abroad.
The Peniagawati Association (Association of Bumiputera Women in Business and Profession, Malaysia) will also help me,” he explained in an interview with Bernama after the fashion show.
Adli Afandi, a Johor Baru designer, who specialises in bridal dresses – with both traditional and international designs – is now trying to enter the ready-to-wear couture segment. Pic by NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH
He said since it was summer time in New York, he used eye-catching colours and light clothing material for his presentation.
Nancy Jullok, who runs a fashion business called P’Lo in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, presented an array of ethnic motifs which were presented in what she called “adapted to modern wear”.
“I use black and velvet high-end quality fabric,” she said of her collections which were presented by models with white painted faces.
Jullok displayed 12 dresses. “I’ll continue with my designs and use Sabah motifs. I am doing Western wedding dresses and selling it in the local Malaysian market.” She also displayed a variety of male attires, with a male model strutting in a long robe on the runway.
Another designer, Adamiya had models display black net-chequered dress with her models wearing masks to add to the allure.
Another Adamiya creation that seemed to interest the audience was an elegant black sari-like dress wrapped around a female model.
A Touch of Songket @ New York, as another presentation was called, unravelled the versatility of the traditional Songket which was used as a long-flowery jacket. A male model with a long Songket-based jacket worn over light blue jeans seemed to be equally eye-catching.
There were also other Malaysian designers who caught the attention with eye-catching designs. These designers included Raeesa, Hafilda Prestige, Alame Miak, Cun by Erma Fatima, Fiziwoo, V_Hijrah, Fazbulus, Rizman, Ruzani, etc.
Some US experts at the show told Bernama that they recognised the potential of the budding Malaysian designers and appreciated their interest to break into the US market. They urged the aspirants to be persistent in their efforts and devise a long-term marketing strategy for the purpose.
The Malaysian participation in the show was organised by Peniagawati, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation and other sponsors and partners. — BERNAMA © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd