Domestic fashion is on the rise in Malaysia. Inspired by local culture and trends, fashion entrepreneurs are paving way for their homegrown brands to become the next big thing. Infusing their own unique identity and creativity, these young upstarts are producing some high quality apparels which are on par with the international standards. As homegrown ourselves, we are excited and proud to have such trendsetting energies in the local scene. While we strongly urge everyone to support local products, here are the Top 10 Independent Local Clothing Brands which you should keep an eye on.
1) Neonate Clothing
Founded by local actor, Karl Shafek Ibrahim, Neonate Clothing was introduced to the local clothing scene in May 2014. In a short span of 6 months, Neonate has swiftly stamped a strong presence, winning over the hearts of many fashion lovers with its few bold series. Neonate’s series of collections are fashioned to be simple, classy, and comfortable with pure 100% cotton. Neonate is inspired by Karl’s desire to explore the evolution in the fashion of young people, which is mysterious but interesting. His ability to catch changing trends, preferences and behaviour of the current generation is key to Neonate Clothing.
2) CARA Apparel
CARA is a premium street wear fashion brand with a simple and minimalist style. Pronounced as “cha-ra”, the word also represents a subliminal meaning of “awesome”, “cool”, and “great” in the local lingo. Founded by a young ambitious entrepreneur, Al’fie Dilaney, CARA offers exclusive yet simple art that is appealing for everyone since December 2013. Less is surely more for CARA. While they focus on producing the best quality apparel, they aspire to become the next big thing.
3) Pestle & Mortar Clothing
Pestle & Mortar Clothing is no stranger to many. Established in the year 2010 by 3 close friends, Pestle & Mortar is regarded as one of the pioneers who led the rise of the local clothing scene. From their humble beginnings at festive markets, the Pestle & Mortar brand has grown so much. Their success has seen their brand made available in many locations including their flagship store in the heart of Telawi, Bangsar. Pestle & Mortar Clothing isn’t just about what you wear, it is also a projection of our personal lifestyle, culture and homeland.
Formed in 2008 by passionate Malaysian artists, Abstrax was founded on the art and design of Fahmi Fabilah, and the ideas and philosophy of Dr. Faiz I. Anuar. Abstrax hopes to convey stories, create relationships, aspire and inspire the younger generation through its brand which reflects simplicity, exclusivity, affordability, and modernity. All these elements are clearly incorporated in their products and their meaningful apparel has garnered a lot of buzz and has become a national identity. Abstrax started off by realising the absence of local presentation in the streetwear market and took a brave leap to enter the rather unfamiliar market which made them fruitful.
5) KOYA Clothing
KOYA is a clothing company founded in 2009 by a bunch of schoolmates who desire a different niche in the streetwear market to fuse micro-vernacular qualities in a modern west-oriented market. The name of the brand, Koya, is a dialect word commonly used in the Eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia that is commonly understood as a “daydreamer”. You can also look at Koya as an acronym for: Knocked Out Youth Associate. KOYA started by selling T-shirts at small gigs, skate comps, art events and college bazaars throughout the country. Over the years, KOYA managed to diversify their products and open a distribution store in their hometown, Kuantan, Pahang.
6) Supercrew Clothing & Co.
Supercrew sells cool streetwear that conveys bold and driven messages to the public. Supercrew’s tagline ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ are featured in all their clothing designs as they hope to encourage and channel motivation to individuals to be courageous to dream, and believe that it will one day be achieved. As an inspiring streetwear clothing brand, Supercrew was established in 2013 with their concepts largely influenced by street dancers, artists, pilots, DJs, and athletes. Using black and white as their main colours with a little injection of red, Supercrew’s apparels are calm and trendy; embracing confidence, positivity and persistency.
By Wolves for Wolves, Wolfgang is a high street collective and a movement for the subculture, incorporating and embedding the essence of fashion, music and street culture. The brand was founded in 2011, led by a collective of six inspiring visionaries with an aim to set a new benchmark to the Malaysian fashion and entertainment industry. The brand strives on exclusive, limited and quality-made merchandises. Leveraging on different authorised retailers to distribute its brands and products, Wolfgang has successfully paved its road as one of the most prominent names in the local streetwear clothing industry and has established its name as a must-have underground streetwear brand.
8) Million Apparel
Originating from Johor, Million Apparel offers a modern style mixed with some home-grown flare to the local clothing scene. Their apparels include graphic tees, sweatshirts, sweatpants, bags, caps, and many more. With quality and fashion trends being their main focus, Million Apparel also caters to young children. According to Million, inspiration for modern fashion has brought them into this industry while arts and surroundings have spurred creativity in their designs. Thanks to their persistency in innovation, Million is enjoying positive growth in their hometown Kluang and beyond that. One of our favourites from their collection would be the Truce Collection which revolves around typography, logos and graphics.
Pioneering in personalised fashion tees, Idotshirt believes everyone can make a statement and prove a point with their own tees “because you need to”. Idotshirt is all about the birth of personalised T-shirts through game play. Comprising of a team of designers who find excitement in exploring art and practices meticulous crafting, Idotshirt builds variant graphic themes you can choose from, lets you fill in the words of your choice, pair it with a number, and prints them on the tee for you!
LEGIT is an independent apparel with its concept influences coming from the street, skate and DIY fashion. By the street, to the street, and backed by strong aspiration, LEGIT hopes to be a surprise within the independent clothing industry with creative ideas, concepts, products and collaborations with various brands. Check out one of their successful series, HustleDept which is available in tees, sweat shirts, and more. Incorporating a winning mentality into the collection design, HustleDept urges the public to not only have a winning state of mind but to also hustle to win.