5 MIN­UTES WITH FARAH KHAN

The creative direc­tor of Farah Khan and pres­i­dent of Malaysian re­tailer The Melium Group on the rise of fashion in Asia.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The News Bazaar -

What’s it like be­ing an Asian de­signer based in Asia?

Asia is rock­ing. When I saw all the cre­ativ­ity

of Asian ar­ti­sans and their beau­ti­fully hand-cre­ated em­broi­dery and bead­work, I knew there was some­thing right here. These are dy­ing crafts and if we don’t

con­tinue their good work, they will dis­ap­pear. My cus­tomers have been very sup­port­ive; they recog­nise that we make qual­ity prod­ucts that are beau­ti­ful and prac­ti­cal. Even Hol­ly­wood celebri­ties wear our clothes. It’s the store mer­chan­dis­ers who are harder to con­vince, which is some­what dis­ap­point­ing be­cause they should be the

ones ed­u­cat­ing the con­sumers.

You launched your own la­bel seven years ago, but you have been

in the re­tail busi­ness for more than 20 years. What’s your ad­vice

for emerg­ing Asian de­sign­ers?

I hope my la­bel will help other Asian tal­ents un­der­stand that ev­ery­thing takes time and needs to be nur­tured. It’s not pos­si­ble to start to­day and be on the run­way the next – it will go as fast as it comes. You need time to de­velop your

sto­ries, fab­rics, and pub­lic re­la­tions. It took me a year and a half to de­velop my own con­cept and be ready. When

AFF first in­vited us two years ago, I didn’t feel ready. But this year, I feel the brand is strong enough to show on an in­ter­na­tional run­way. So, take the time to dis­cover your own tal­ents and

your brand di­rec­tion.

The fashion busi­ness has changed a lot over the years. How do you keep up and

stay con­tem­po­rary?

I hire a lot of young tal­ented peo­ple who in­spire me. When I was told that I needed my own In­sta­gram ac­count, I was like, “Oh

stop it, I hate all these things!” But I’m get­ting into it, even though my up­dates are er­ratic. It’s some­thing that’s en­tirely from my own per­spec­tive. I en­joy that be­cause

no­body is giv­ing me pres­sure.

Dato’ Farah Khan with her mod­els

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