Malaysia-in­ter­na­tional Fashion Week 2010

The Malaysia-In­ter­na­tional Fashion Week 2010 is set to daz­zle the crowd.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By FIONA HO startwo@thes­

Maxis’ vice-pres­i­dent and Head of Prod­ucts, De­vices and In­no­va­tion, T. Ku­gan (left) strik­ing a pose with the of­fi­cial logo of Malaysia-In­ter­na­tional Fashion Week 2010 with mifa’s chair­man Heah Sieu Lay (cen­tre) and CEO Syeba Yip. PUT your stilet­tos on, fash­ion­istas. The Malaysia-In­ter­na­tional Fashion Week 2010 (M-IFW’10) is here again. Ar­guably the biggest fashion event in Malaysia, M-IFW is an on­go­ing ef­fort by the Malaysian In­ter­na­tional Fashion Al­liance (mifa) to sup­port the pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment of lo­cal fashion de­sign­ers and pro­mote the Malaysian fashion in­dus­try in the global arena.

This is the eight in­stal­ment of the an­nual event and it will take place at Pavil­ion Kuala Lumpur from Nov 2 to 6.

Pop­u­lar lo­cal de­sign­ers such as Michael Ong, Datuk Bernard Chan­dran, Datuk Farah Khan and Eric Choong are among the 70 Malaysian de­sign­ers who will show­case their de­signs at the five-day event.

In­ter­na­tional brands such as Emilio Pucci, Hel­mut Lang and Hal­ston will also make an ap­pear­ance at M-IFW’10, which will fea­ture 18 fashion show­cases al­to­gether.

Up-and-com­ing new de­sign­ers from Malaysia will get a chance to flaunt their cre­ations at the event too.

“It’s a way of help­ing ‘low-ly­ing’ brands,” says mifa’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Syeba Yip.

Be­sides pro­mot­ing the lo­cal fashion in­dus­try, M-IFW also aims to boost fashion tourism and trade in Malaysia.

“Tourism is a good way of ex­pos­ing our lo­cal de­signs to for­eign­ers,” says Yip. “Be­sides go­ing to re­sorts, tourists who come here will also ex­pe­ri­ence our lo­cal fashion scene. Our unique sum­mer dresses are es­pe­cially pop­u­lar with tourists.

“We can be like Bangkok, where lo­cal de­sign­ers can earn their money. At the same time, we also want to re­mind lo­cal con­sumers of our tal­ented lo­cal de­sign­ers,” Yip adds. “This is the time for Asian de­sign­ers to be no­ticed by the world.”

En­dorsed by Malaysian Ex­ter­nal Trade Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion or Ma­trade, the M-IFW also at­tracts trade and in­dus­try mem­bers in­clud­ing de­sign­ers, fashion buy­ers and life­style me­dia from the Asian re­gion, Mid­dle East, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

“This pro­vides good ex­po­sure for lo­cal de­sign­ers who will be fea­tured on chan­nels such as Fashion TV (an in­ter­na­tional TV chan­nel ded­i­cated to fashion),” Yip ex­plains.

Fol­low­ing seven years of suc­cess, M-IFW is now poised to pro­pel Malaysia into the hub of Asian fashion in­dus­try. How­ever, Yip ad­mits it can be a chal­lenge. “There are a lot of fashion stu­dents as well as young de­sign­ers but they are very lost. Plus, the cul­ture here in Malaysia is gen­er­ally very laid-back. There is just not enough en­thu­si­asm in the fashion in­dus­try,” she says.

Yip also lists “at­ti­tude prob­lems” as the biggest set­back for new Malaysian de­sign­ers. “Young de­sign­ers these days are very im­pa­tient. Most of them have no train­ing, un­like for­eign de­sign­ers who have gone through in­tern­ships with fashion mag­a­zines and stylists be­fore launch­ing their own la­bels. Lo­cal de­sign­ers just want to make it big fast,” she says.

“For ex­am­ple, de­sign­ers like Derek Lam (top New York-based Asian-Amer­i­can de­signer) did not be­come fa­mous overnight. He was an as­sis­tant for Michael Kors (famed Amer­i­can de­signer) for four years and he worked for a Hong Kong re­tail brand be­fore launch­ing his own la­bel,” says Yip.

To as­pir­ing young de­sign­ers, Yip ad­vices: “You have to put in a lot of hard work, be hum­ble and have a good at­ti­tude. It’s all about the at­ti­tude, as a good at­ti­tude will lead to good net­work­ing.”

Mean­while, M-IFW, which was con­cep­tu­alised in 2003, is pre­sented by mifa in col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal in­te­grated ser­vices provider Maxis for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

Maxis, which has over 12 mil­lion Maxis cus­tomers, will of­fer a cus­tom-made in­ter­face

(Pic be­low) M-IFW’10 ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign fea­tures (from left) Kavita Sidhu, Deb­o­rah Henry, Datuk Farah Khan, Raja Datuk Nor­diana Zainal Shah and Syeba Yip.

Lo­cal de­signer Eric Choong will be high­light­ing his lat­est cre­ations at M-IFW this year.

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