Longyis with pock­ets hit the racks

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - MYO SATT

WHO de­cided longyis couldn’t have pock­ets?

Who­ever it was, that de­ci­sion has been ren­dered void by the folks at Cici, who launched a new col­lec­tion of tra­di­tional out­fits fea­tur­ing pock­ets over the week­end. At the re­lease on July 31, the store at Hledan Ga­mone Pwint shop­ping cen­tre buzzed as women browsed the op­tions.

“The in­spi­ra­tion for pocket longyis ac­tu­ally comes from menswear,” says Su Wai Yee, CEO of Cici. She said she re­alised that men’s cloth­ing al­most al­ways fea­tures pock­ets, mak­ing it eas­ier for them to func­tion in the mod­ern world with­out hav­ing their hands full.

“In the age where ev­ery­one is at­tached to their smart­phone, the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of hav­ing one or more pock­ets in our cloth­ing have be­come even more rel­e­vant,” she said.

She added that Western fash­ions fea­ture con­ve­nient pock­ets in­side sleek sport­coats. Even the tra­di­tional paso, or men’s longyi, is tied in such a fash­ion that en­ables men to slip a wal­let in their waist or tuck a phone into its folds.

Women, how­ever, do not have that luxury. The dis­crep­ancy in­spired Su Wai Yee to de­sign a women’s longyi, or htamein, with pock­ets. For months, her team de­vel­oped a va­ri­ety of de­signs, try­ing to over­come the chal­lenges of htameins, which are cus­tom­ar­ily tied tightly around the waist.

The five that made the cut, nick­named for the days of the work­ing week, are mar­keted to­ward a new gen­er­a­tion of work­ing Myan­mar women.

“We try to ap­peal to ur­ban Myan­mar women who are out and about at work,” Su Wai Yee said. “We be­lieve that these women would most ben­e­fit from the prac­ti­cal as­pect of wear­ing longyis with pock­ets.”

Dur­ing the launch, ex­cited cus­tomers bought up nearly 50 per­cent of Cici’s in­ven­tory. A par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar ser­vice of­fered free mono­gram em­broi­dery to those who pur­chased a longyi and blouse set.

The pocket longyis range in price from K22,000 to K24,000, while tops list at K15,000 to K18,000. The store aims to be a ready-to-wear fash­ion la­bel, so per­son­alised tai­lor­ing ser­vices are not cur­rently avail­able.

“The ad­di­tion of pock­ets helps Yangon’s lead­ing ladies rein­vent the way they wear their longyis, now adding a touch of mod­ern glam­our, not to men­tion the func­tion­al­ity, to the grace and aes­thet­ics of this wellloved tra­di­tional wear,” Su Wai Yee said.

Cici is de­signed and made in Myan­mar. Its flag­ship store opened on Shin­sawpu Road in March last year, and cur­rently sells its out­fits at Bang Bang stores as well as over on­line plat­forms in­clud­ing its Face­book page, MyStylo, and shop.com.

Pho­tos: Supplied

Cici, a women’s cloth­ing store, launched a new line of pocket longyis on July 31.

The launch event was ex­tremely pop­u­lar, with nearly 50 per­cent of Cici’s pocket longyi in­ven­tory fly­ing off the shelves.

Pho­tos Supplied

Su Wai Yee, third from right, is the CEO of Ci­cis. She said the idea of pocket longyis was in­spired by menswear, such as sport­coats.

Cus­tomers can oder on­line or at one of Cici’s two lo­ca­tions.

Su Wai Yee mod­els one of the styles, with her smart­phone tucked into the top pocket.

The longyis are ready-to-wear and avail­able in five vari­a­tions.

Cus­tomers gather out­side Cici’s Hledan Ga­mone Pwint location.

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