10 Fashion Designers You Need to Know in Malaysia

Jimmy Choo I © Flickr
Jimmy Choo I © Flickr
Photo of Sarah Anne Lee
17 March 2017

From runways and red carpet to custom-made and ready-to-wear, Malaysian-born fashion designers have proudly made their mark in international high culture fashion industries. Save yourself a trip all the way to Italy or Paris and come to Malaysian flagship stores and get some gala-worthy fashion. Here to help you with finding Southeast Asia’s biggest fashion designers, Culture Trip introduces some of Malaysia’s most premier fashion retailers.

Khoon Hooi

Coming a long way from being an assistant designer for brands such as ISetan, Playboy, and Vior, Khoon Hooi has made a name for himself cementing the ultra-feminine design. With signature romantic streamline looks, Hooi’s wear brings out youthful looks through muted tones, highlighting natural beauty. Specializing in beading and feather embellishments, Hooi masters the art of culminating high fashion with street style and has become a header for the edgy luxurious look. With collections ranging from trendy modern wear to traditional bridal gowns and anywhere in between, express your ladylike silhouettes with a flair of offbeat uniqueness.

Address and Phone Number:

KHOON HOOI, Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang, KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2142 6032

Bernard Chandran

The eponymous “King of Fashion” of Malaysia, Bernard Chandran has reached major media heights, having been chief judge for Project Runway Malaysia and a guest judge on Cycle 6 of Britain’s Next Top Model. Famed for popularizing his own special take on the blending of cultural and luxurious wear, Chandran presents eclectic luxe combined with practicality with almost effortless flair. Curated for the “actively intellectual,” Chandran prides in showcasing strong eastern cultural tones in his creations and seamlessly works in modern embellishments. Wearers will feel elegant portraying infusions both of traditional and urban motifs, and portray a picture of perfect harmony.

Address and Phone Number:

Bernard Chandran Sdn. Bhd., 68, Kuala Lumpur Plaza, Bukit Bintang, KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2145 0534

Farah Khan

Although more known as a business woman and the president of The Melium Group, head luxury retailer in Malaysia; Farah Khan also has made international fashion headlines with her penchant for chic on-the-go designs, fashion simply made for travel. Continually dressing the hippest names of the modern era, Khan’s brand boasts hand-sewn beadwork of Asian heritage featured on modern evening wear for women. Dubbed to be of the bold, glamorous nature, Khan keeps alive the intricate art of Southeast Asian bead embroidery and showcases a funky modern tune as she combines the old and the new. The looks produced inspire fierce classical freshness and are sure to make your wardrobe pop.

Address and Phone Number:

Farah Khan, Suria KLCC, Persiaran Petronas, KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2382 0314

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Zang Toi

A long-time designer hailed for creations accentuating the glamorous features of the feminine figure, Zang Toi is notable for being inspired by and in turn creating iconic Hollywood looks. The first Asian to be featured by Anna Wintour for Vogue in 1990, Toi has gone on to grow his independent atelier to worldwide class, providing looks to numerous icons and royals. Known for exciting runway hallmarks, Toi never fails to present his talent for switching up his designs; each bold and stunning statement piece is inspired by personal favorite films and culture from all over the world. Complete your personal style with having at least one over-the-top glam outfit from the House of Toi’s collections and feel red-carpet or movie-set worthy.

Address and Phone Number:

Zang Toi, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2144 1976

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Jimmy Choo

No fashion list is complete without Jimmy Choo, international or otherwise; and lucky for us, he hails from Penang, Malaysia. An unmistakable trademark of playful, glamor, and signature Italian craftsmanship excellence, Choo has made history by becoming a household name in celebrity dressing and was one of the first major brands to dominate the red carpet. Absolutely chic, the range from classic black sandals to high-end glittery pumps and the notable assortments of handbags and clutches show that Jimmy Choo is the saint of accessorizing anywhere, anytime, for any occasion. No one can claim to be a full-fledged fashionista without owning something from this trendsetter brand.

Address and Phone Number:

Jimmy Choo

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Melinda Looi

Moving a lot closer to home, Melinda Looi has established herself as an outstanding designer in the region of Southeast Asia. A penchant for bohemian flavors, Looi utilizes the artistic value of flowing fabrics, soft palettes, and intricate embellishments to create individualistic pieces with a touch of vintage romanticism. She also makes it a point to weave in her roots, adding touches of cultural diversity inspired by Malaysia’s multicultural community. Her style can be best described as somewhat avant-garde, melding fine art with fashion to produce couture feminine clothing glazed in natural motifs. Looi also prides herself in being an eco-friendly campaigner, and has even explored dress-making through 3D printing. Jazz up your collection with some of her one-of-a-kind pieces and revel in the additional cause of green sustainability.

Address and Phone Number:

Melinda Looi Showroom, 131 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2093 2279

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Pearly Wong

Breaking through fashion and art barriers, Pearly Wong succeeds in standing out through her method of basics and staples, reverting to methods of simplicity among the seas of excessive and elaborate. Through careful and strategic construction is her style, Wong makes her mark with collections highlighting the beauty of multifunctional geometric patterns. Sticking to the concept of monochromatic in every way, Wong keeps her pieces genderless in an ethically conscious manner, catering to the androgynous and the non-binary. Even her base color palettes remain subdued, with black being a signature. Also a champion of sustainable fashion, Wong incorporates features of leather, mesh, harnesses, hooks, and zippers in her artistic concepts, creating a trend in minimalism.

Edmund Ser

One of the few who started off designing menswear, Edmund Ser has evolved to now specialize in creating ensembles for the modern woman. Mastering the sense of professional dressing, Ser pushes forward fashion for the female office-bound clientele. Delicately balancing colorful confidence with clean sophistication, Ser is renowned for providing a dapper tinge to the area of white-collar fashion. Although still mostly based in Malaysia, Ser has risen to the likes of larger brand housings and proudly shares the same roof as many upscale designers in Suria KLCC.

Address and Phone Number:

EDMUNDSER, Suria KLCC, KL, Malaysia, +60 3-2382 2828

Ezzati Amira

An up and coming young designer, Ezzati Amira brings to life a sense of controlled chaos through simplicity and vintage influences. She describes her style as being glamorous in a comfortable sense, and highlights the utilitarian concept through a non-event-conformist manner. Deriving basic elements of music and arts, her pieces come to as fearlessly modern, and nonconforming to any trend, but striving to be timeless. What could possibly be described as nu-bohemian, Amira’s peculiar tastes have severed well to catapult her into the limelight of easy-to-wear fashion, catering for women who are confident in their own skin or on the road to being.

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Joe Chia

Think the minimalism of Uniqlo and boldness of Shu Uemura, but stripped of their trendy element. Joe Chia‘s vision is steeped with rebellious undertones, a paradox of the minimalist idea, and flawless effort. His signature monochromatic look is a dissident to the method of seasonal trends and presents itself almost like a glimpse into the blandness of futuristic styles. Chia experiments with the traditionalism of classic urban design and sculpts what he finds into darker overtones, building a strong line of genderless statement pieces. A truly perspective-inducing type of art, Joe Chia is making waves with his deconstructed sense of fashion.

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