For some reason, fashion designers who specialise in women’s wear are a lot easier to come by than those specialising in men’s. But finding fashion designers that can actually pull off both men and women’s fashion designs? Now that’s an even bigger whopper of a challenge!
But there is no shortage of talented fashion designers in Kuala Lumpur with all sorts of styles and specialities. And of course, that means among them are some who actually succeed in singlehandedly creating fashion-forward pieces for both men and women. Seeing how many local shops and designers Kuala Lumpur has, however, the trouble here is knowing where to look to spot these amazing designers.
That’s why we’ve traipsed around the major shopping areas of Kuala Lumpur, and finally zoomed in on our Top 10 Men’s and Women’s Fashion Designers. From elegant couture and bridal collections to batik sarong designs, this list has all you need to suss out the top men and women’s fashion designers from Kuala Lumpur.
Arizali corner at Parkson, Level 4, The Pavilion, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100 | Also available online.
You can’t leave Malaysia without taking a traditional sarong with you, for which you just have to check out Arizali. Specialising in in high quality, elegant resort wear for men and woman, you can find a wide range of apparel here, including kaftans, sarongs, bandanas, scarves, t-shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, accessories, and the list just goes on and on. Of course, the traditional Batik features plenty here, and Arizali melds them with different fabric textures to create light, colourful and elegant pieces for you the bring home.
Multiple locations throughout Kuala Lumpur. View website for more details.
Starting out as a men’s wear designer in 1986, Edmund Ser later moved on to design women’s fashion for practical reasons. You see, at the time, women had just begun entering the workforce, which prompted Edmund to extend his office wear services to the ladies. In 1992, he opened a boutique specialising in women’s work wear, and has since established a reputation for fashion-forward, dapper styles. He has also expanded to Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, and has become a favourite local label for newscasters in Malaysia – which certainly boosted the brand name.
Available at Lot P6 & P7, Level 4, LOT 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 55100 | Lot 6, Ground Floor, Great Eastern Mall, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50450
Zang Toi has come a long way since opening his flagship store in New York back in 1989. Then, House of Toi only sold dresses, suits and sarongs, but they have since expanded their product offerings to include accessories such as belts, handbags and shoes. Even better, A-list celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Longoria, Patti LaBelle and Sharon Stone have been seen dressed in this local label, which is only fitting, seeing that they are precisely the type of women who suit Zang Toi’s style: bold, dramatic and glamorous.
Available at Lonely Dream: Lot 12, 2nd Floor, Telawi Square, 39 & 41 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Also available online.
Known as one of New Zealand’s and Malaysian’s star designers, local New Zealand-based designer, Jimmy Lim has never been one to shy away from experimenting with fashion. His latest collection in particular pushes the boundaries of fashion with an effervescent showcase of edgy cuts, silhouettes and prints. Drawing inspiration from his personal experiences with nature, music, culture and tradition, each of his designs are fresh and exciting, and proof of his insistence on attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship.
Available at Thisappear: 20-2, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 59100.
It’s true what they say about inspiration being anywhere and everywhere. In Joe Chia’s case, he draws inspiration from natural disasters and other catastrophes that happened in 2012. Naturally, the result is fashion designs that have rather dark overtones. More interestingly, this Raffles Design Institute graduate creates androgynous clothing that can be shared between males and females, designed with plenty of black and whites and morbidly titled: The Beginning of the End.
If you’re looking for a little more mature wear that’s still lively and vivacious, KN Key Ng may be just the thing for you. With an eclectic selection of contemporary office wear and smart casual styles, KN Key Ng is perfect for young to middle-aged customers with a taste for quality, comfortable and fashionable apparel. Key Ng also designs accessories including bags, shoes, eyewear and fashion jewellery that works great with his apparel designs so you walk away with not just a new dress or blouse, but a stylish new outfit from head to toe.
Available at 10G & 10M, Jalan Hentian 1A, Phase 3, Off Jalan Bangi, Pusat Hentian Kajang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia 43000. | Also available online.
Ever since Rico Rinaldi was 10 years old, he knew he had a penchant for design, and years later, during his years in fashion school, his love for fashion finally paid off. Even before graduating, Rico had won the Malaysian Batik Fashion Accessories Design in 2006 as well as his university’s Best Lifestyle Designer 2008, and the rest, as they say, is history. He has since gone on to win countless more awards and accolades, including one that allowed him to present a collection in London and further his studies at the London Fashion School of Art. His style is best recognised by his love for draping with a high-end touch, visible in his ready-to-wear and bridal collections.
Available at multiple locations throughout Malaysia. View website for more details. | Also available online.
Being so close to the equator, you don’t get much of a sub-zero experience in Malaysia, unless you’re at SUB Zero Jeans, one of Malaysia’s biggest fashion chains that has outlets all through the country as well as the US, China, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Expect trendy lifestyle items including men and women’s fashion apparel that are designed, manufactured and marketed in-house. SUB Zero Jeans is particularly known as a go-to spot for stylish partygoers with a wide selection of clubbing wear for the night owls.
Available at 4.25.11 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50250. | Also available at various stockists.
Local boutique Variante has a rather unusual beginning. Unlike most stores that are born out of an undying passion of fashion, Variante was formed out of popular demand. Starting out as a humble store selling shirts, the local boutique one day received a request for a beaded blouse, which eventually led to an entire beaded shirt collection. Eventually, Variante evolved further to create couture and bridal clothing geared towards the modern, empowered woman. And even now, the boutique continues drawing inspiration from its female customers and seeking to include past favourites into new collection to keep them eager to come back for more.
Available at SEETHROUGH Concept Store: First Floor, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, Off Kuchai Lama, 25 Jalan Kuchai Maju 7, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park , Off Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 58200. | Also available at 117-1, Jalan Medang Serai, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 59100.
Ambitious and incredibly talented, 22-year-old law student Zakwan Anuar gave up the prospects of a cushy legal career for a life of glamour and style, which has, fortunately for him and us travelshopas, paid off. Year after year, fashion critics have kept their eye on Zakwan, thanks to his uncanny ability to create stunning men’s and women’s fashion pieces that really sparkle even while using simple lines and structures. His latest S/S 2014 collection defies the usual floral shades of spring, basing every piece off black, with minimal, yet interest-piquing, splashes of silver, gold, blue and red.