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.
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
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