Malaysia has never suffered from a shortage of talent in the fashion industry. In fact, the local fashion industry is thriving, with new names sprouting up in recent years. From high street fashion to wedding dresses and batik inspired patterns, these Top 10 young fashion designers are the ones that we should look out for.
1) Hariharan Arasu
Hariharan Arasu is a young Malaysian contemporary fashion designer who launched his own label, Ardana Haran that infuses Indian ethnic elements with modern style. With an inspiring touch of youth, Ardana Haran has a signature touch of elegance and sophistication. Hariharan was the winner in the Kronenbourg 1664 L’Aperitif Fashion held in 2012, which also won him a trip to London and a week-long one-on-one apprenticeship with Datuk Jimmy Choo. The award-winning fashion designer holds a Diploma in Fashion Design from PJ College of Art & Design (now known as Inti Centre of Art & Design).
2) Nazreen Idris
Aspiring young Malaysian fashion designer, Nazreen Idris, specialises in wedding gown designs. Her design style is conventional with a hint of subtle sexiness, making it great for Muslim women who often have very limited options when it comes to wedding apparel. She has been designing exclusive outfits for celebrities in Malaysia namely Intan Ladyana, Linda Onn, Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim, Diana Danielle, Aida Aris, and many more.
3) Yvonne Lim
Yvonne Lim is the designer behind LINE 32, a KL-based fashion label that focuses on cool, contemporary pieces for young women on a budget. After completing her Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design from Parsons, New York, Yvonne returned to Kuala Lumpur and founded LINE 32 with her brother, Sean Lim. She explores style lines and layering in order to create dimension and depth to counter the underlying simplicity of her designs.
4) Syaiful Baharim
The passionate fashion designer, Syaiful Baharim, is the creative force behind Syaiful Baharim Atelier which specialises in high-quality wedding and evening fashion creations, traditional and Muslimah garments as well as batik wear. Immediately recognisable for his crisp and tailored look, Syaiful injects modern and urban touches with freshness and modern sophistication, making every woman who wears his collection feel confident and elegant.
5) Khoon Hooi
Khoon Hooi has earned a reputation for creating luxury ready-to-wear apparel with an edge. His designs have a romantic appeal with an avant-garde unstructured edge that set his collections apart from the rest. Inspired by his tailor grandmother, the Perak-born designer took up fashion design at the Malaysian Institute of Art. In 1999, he opened Clothier Creation that produced his own label Khoon Hooi, which has now branched out to accessories. Khoon Hooi has won several awards in the industry including the Malaysia International Fashion Awards (MIFA) – Logwin Industrial Excellence Awards in 2011.
6) Ezzati Amira
This young fashion designer, Ezzati Amira found her love for fashion at 16, from sketching and going to bundle sales to shop for mix-and-match clothing items. Her collection is inspired by her love for music and art, embodying the modern woman who is bold and fearless. Her design aesthetic is simple so most of her creations are easy-to-wear apparels and very comfortable at the same time. Ezzati holds an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design from Raffles Design Institute.
7) Justin Chew
Justin Chew is the perfect example of someone who finds endless possibilities in everything that he sees. He began his career in fashion during his first year of attending Raffles College of Higher Education. In 2010, the visionary designer showcased his very first collection at MIFA 2010. A year later, he emerged as a finalist in MIFA 2011 Kronenbourg Who’s Next. In 2013, Justin and Joe Chia collaborated with Joey Mah of Nowhereman Coffee to create a pop-up store, Thisappear. He also collaborated with Edmund Yew (NESTWO), a local graffiti artist to bring graffiti art onto the printed garments.
8) Nigel Chia
After graduating as a Veterinarian and Fashion Design with fully sponsored scholarship, Nigel Chia abandoned his medical route and ventured into the fashion industry as he was driven by pure passion for the industry. His design has won the hearts of many in the local fashion industry and he has made a strong name for himself throughout the years of struggle and achievements. He has received several recognitions including the Young Designer Innovative Award at the Malaysian Official Designers’ Association (Moda) 24th Anniversary.
9) Afiq Mohamed
Originating from Rembau, Negeri Sembilan, Afiq Mohamed established his debut fashion label, AfiqM in 2011 when he was still a student. Underpinned by values of simplicity, freedom, and sassiness for easy everyday pieces for women, Afiq is determined to make local fashionable clothing line that is affordable and worth every penny spent. In 2013, Afiq was appointed as the creative director of fashion label Kree. He has been actively participating in various fashion shows, including Modesty in Style by YODA 2011, Who’s Next YODA 2011, Malaysia International Fashion Week 2011, and he was also named the winner of reality TV show PESONA.
10) Pearly Wong
After graduating from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Pearly Wong returned to Kuala Lumpur and launched her eponymous label in 2012. She was the winner of My Fashion Pitch by MyCreative Ventures in 2013, an award given to young designers to spur the creative industry in the region. In January 2015, Pearly Wong made her debut at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin showcasing her FW15 collection. Pearly’s clothing consists of collections that are rather androgynous in personality, has plenty of black leather and mesh fabric while harnesses, zippers and hooks are added as detailing for effect.