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Anne Aeria, Author at Travelshopa Guides
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Cassey Gan

KL-based designer Cassey Gan encourages everyday women to have a little fun with fashion and style through her eponymous label. Discover how Cassey Gan took her local label to the global market.

Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

In 2013, Cassey Gan started her own fashion line, Cassey Gan. From a Chemical Engineering graduate to a fashion designer, Kuala Lumpur born and bred Cassey caused much stir in the fashion world. To her, comfort and style are the main ingredients for her fashion line. Known for using prints in her design, Cassey stresses that attention to detail is of great importance in designing every piece. Find out about the Cassey Gan journey, so far.

How did you transition from a bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering to First Class Honours in Fashion Design & Technology?

My first degree was in Chemical Engineering. Upon graduation, I decided that Engineering is not an industry I want to be in. I then started to work in the fashion industry as an assistant fashion writer. My experience as a fashion writer confirmed my interest for fashion and went on to pursue a fashion design degree in London College of Fashion.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Comfort and style are of equal importance for the brand. There is an acute focus on details and functional design with an innovative mix of prints and fabrics. All our garments are non-form fitting.

Could you describe the Cassey Gan girl?

Our brand is for women aged 25-55, working professionals who are not afraid to have a little fun. She appreciates confidence and is extremely comfortable in her own skin.

"I don’t design based on current trends. I design based on inspiration. I strongly believe that inspiration is everywhere. Travelling opens my eyes to different culture and experiences which in turn will help inspire my work."

 

Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Designer, Cassey Gan

Cassey Gan is widely available around the world, how did you grow the brand globally?

It is available in physical shops in Singapore and Malaysia. However, our label is available worldwide as we have an online shop and we ship internationally.

Your global expansion has included some great press coverage over the years, including Vogue Italia in 2012, how did that come about and how did the feature help the brand?

Vogue Italia has a reputation of supporting young talents. When they were visiting fashion schools around London, they spotted my designs and picked it up as one of the brands to be featured. The feature had helped boost brand awareness when I first launched the brand.

You have spent some time overseas, where were you and what’s it like being back in Malaysia?

I spent 4 years in Melbourne studying Engineering and then another 4 years in London studying Fashion Design Womenswear. Malaysia, however, is home for me. I am very attached to my family and I enjoy spending time around them very much. Also, there are a lot of untapped resources which makes it a great place to start a business.

Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa
Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

How does travel influence your designs?

I strongly believe that inspiration is everywhere. Travelling opens my eyes to different culture and experiences which in turn will help inspire my work!

Who is your style icon?

Margaret Zhang, Alexa Chung

Who would you like to dress/style?

Everyday women

Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Local Artists

How do you stay on top of current trends?

I don’t design based on current trends. I design based on inspirations.

We hear you have plans for a showroom X studio X café. How is this coming along?

I am now stocked in a space called The Studio, on the rooftop of the Gardens Mall. It is a showroom as well as a retail space. The café section is in the works. There are a few other local brands within that space too!

Shop The Story

S09 BIB01C SK01 | Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Cassey Gan

S09 // BIB01C // SK01

S09 DD02B | Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Cassey Gan

S09 // DD02B

S09 TT03 LP02 | Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Cassey Gan

S09 // TT03 // LP02

S09 TT05 LP01 | Cassey Gan | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Cassey Gan

S09 // TT05 // LP01

Cassey Gan is available at various stockists across Kuala Lumpur and Singapore | Also available online

All images courtesy of Cassey Gan.

Ung Yiu Lin, ShoesShoesShoes & KLutched

Meet Ung Yiu Lin, founder and designer of ShoesShoesShoes and KLutched as she chats about the evolution of these KL-based brands, the importance of good value and how she juggles work and life while staying sassy and chic.


 

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

When people say dreams do come true, that’s exactly what happened to Ung Yiu Lin, founder and designer of ShoesShoesShoes and KLutched. “10 years ago, it started with a dream of wanting all Malaysian ladies to be able to afford walking out of a store with 3 fabulous well-made shoes and without feeling guilty”, says Yiu Lin. That’s how the moniker, ShoesShoesShoes came about.

A brand that offers the latest trends in footwear and accessories, made of quality materials, at a great price was Yiu Lin’s ultimate goal. ShoesShoesShoes naturally evolved from shoes and clutches to clothes. “We have expanded our shoe line to bridal and kids shoes too, head to toe solutions from sunglasses to bags and clothing”, added Yiu Lin.

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa
ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

KLutched came about, as Yiu Lin wanted a business model as opposed to the one she had for ShoesShoesShoes. The latter was more focused on actual physical retail expansion and besides being capital intensive, it was also very tiring and she was bogged down with HR related issues. Therefore, KLutched took on a distributorship model. “We sold to stockists on a wholesale basis, through trade shows such as Tranoi in Paris. This gave me a good balance between managing ShoesShoesShoes and my new label, KLutched,” said Yiu Lin.

A mother of two beautiful daughters, Yiu Lin definitely lives up to her motto of “living life to the fullest.” One can see how passionate she is about what she does, multitasking between motherhood and work, still making time for her friends, family and husband, while travelling for work and leisure. What’s more, she does this with absolute ease, looking sassy and chic.

Her fashion style resembles a chameleon. She could go from corporate-chic for business meetings, to edgy-fun for a fashion event. To her, fashion is fun, experimenting with different looks by pushing the envelope when it comes to style but also to remain comfortable and confident. “Yes, I always wear my own brand or brands that we sell in the stores. I have always been an avid supporter of local and regional talents’.

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa
ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

“The most important criteria when doing a collaboration is to make sure that both parties would achieve a win-win outcome. It can’t be one-sided.”


 

Yiu Lin’s academic background in Accounting and Finance and Applied Finance helped frame her way of thinking. “It gave me a sharp analytical thought process, which is a strong fundamental in building the blocks of any business,” she said.

When you walk into any four of ShoesShoesShoes outlets, you can also see many other local brands such as Ezurin Laboratories, Thavia, Alia Bastamam, Ezzati Amira and more. Yiu Lin believes that she is her own customer; therefore she only chooses brands and collections that she feels strongly about and that she would buy and wear. “I always like to apply the concept of “good value” to all the items that we sell in the stores, that a customer walks away knowing that they got a good buy, and it’s something unique or different as to what’s out there in the market.”

In the near future, Yiu Lin will be creating a ShoesShoesShoes capsule clothing collection for Raya 2017. “Since my business was funded by my own capital, I never had much (or any) of an Advertising and Promotion budget. Our Facebook and Instagram pages really allowed us to show our unique identity and products to an audience that stretches beyond the areas where our stores are located and even to an international audience.”

Shop the Collection

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Shoes Shoes Shoes

Fern Maburu long sleeve shirt

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

ShoesShoesShoes

Lolita Classic Pumps

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

ShoesShoesShoes

Fern Kosetsu pants

ShoesShoesShoes | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

ShoesShoesShoes

Tassled Pointy Flats

Visit ShoesShoesShoes at one of these outlets or shop online.

All images courtesy of ShoesShoesShoes.

Izrin Ismail, INNAI

Meet the designer behind KL-based womenswear label, INNAI, that is breaking the barriers of traditional batik with its contemporary designs.


 

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Mention INNAI to any women in Kuala Lumpur and you get nothing but positive remarks on the brand. INNAI was founded in 2004 by Managing Director Izrin Ismail’s mother, Aishah Saleh. Born out of the love for batik and urban aesthetics, INNAI broke the barriers of traditional art with contemporary geometric, floral and psychedelic designs. Izrin currently spearheads INNAI and INNAI RED under the INNAI Group of companies.

“When I started, I was co-handling it with my mother, as I was still studying. I helped her out with ideas on batik motifs and colours whereas she handles the production and the business,” says Izrin.

Izrin observed and learned the tricks and trades of the business by studying the techniques and history of batik making to managing staffs, suppliers, designs and accounts. “I saw a huge potential of batik in the local industry. What made me more interested in the batik industry was to bring forth batik to a younger market.”

For someone who is always under the limelight, Izrin swears by planning her outfit well together with accessories, bags and shoes. She usually incorporates trends into her wardrobe and makes it her own. Being a designer herself, she also has her own three favourite local designers – Khoon Hooi, Rizalman and Bernard Chandran.

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Left: Juliani Jamal, Izrin Ismail, Arene P. Khairudin

In 2012, INNAI RED was born to cater to the demands of the market for modern bridal wear and elegant gowns for special events. Fronted by designers Arene P. Khairudin and Juliani Jamal, the collections are accented with intricate embellishments, dramatic hemlines and INNAI’s signature aesthetic.

INNAI RED showcased their first resort collection, “Rio Bonita” at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2016 and received astounding reviews. Since then, the brand has embarked on a few collaborations – including one with FashionValet, Asia’s leading online marketplace for the hottest local designers. “The most important criteria when doing a collaboration is to make sure that both parties would achieve a win-win outcome. It can’t be one-sided.”

The local fashion label promises an exciting line-up of collections this year. Inspired by the concept of “Raya at Home” their upcoming Raya collection will feature 16 luxurious and effortlessly chic styles.

Additionally, the team is creating a collection for the forthcoming Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week in August 2017. Seeking inspiration from desert flowers, succulents, cactus and the plains, the highly anticipated collection will also reflect hints of INNAI’s signature embellishments.

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa
Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

“The most important criteria when doing a collaboration is to make sure that both parties would achieve a win-win outcome. It can’t be one-sided.”


 

" I am very hands-on in the business and sustain with the ever-changing supply and demands"


 

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Izrin’s drive to succeed is evident in the brand’s future plans. She envisions participating in international fashion trade fairs and debuting at International Fashion Weeks. “I am careful with my plans and try not to take big risks with the current economic downturn. I’m honest with my products and services and know who are my target market. I am very hands-on in the business and sustain with the ever-changing supply and demands.”

Creating a strong ready-to-wear line and having stockists, either departmental or multi-brand stores, overseas remain important to the growth of INNAI. We look forward to following how their ethos of great PR with clients and being as personal as you can be will pay off.

Shop the Collection

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

INNAI

SOLANGE Long Dress with Ruffles

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

INNAI

HELOISA Mixed Fabric Peplum Skirt

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

INNAI

ISABEL Long Vest with Beads

Innai | Kuala Lumpur | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

INNAI

REGINA Top with Beads in Gold

Shop Innai Red’s “Rio Bonita” Resort 2017 collection at FashionValet.

All images courtesy of Innai.

Kittie Yiyi

KL-based fashion designer, Kittie Yiyi has definitely carved a name for herself in the fashion industry. She created a buzz when she launched her own womenswear label in 2014 at the KL Fashion Week with just 2 years of working with a local designer.


 

Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

From hand sewing princess dresses to her Barbie doll to graduating from Raffles College of Higher Education and then launching her first collection at KL Fashion Week 2014, Kittie Yiyi has sure come a long way in a short span of time.

The social media influencer slash fashion designer now aims to bring fun and joyfulness into her clothing line by making loud and smart pieces with her eponymous label. We chat with the talented designer as she shares her journey and the story behind her latest SS 2017 collection, By the Seashore.

Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Kittie started blogging about her daily office wear with her friend and that caught a lot of attention from the public. “I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. Although people knew me for my blog posts before becoming a designer, at the end of the day, designing was what I always wanted to do,” shared Kittie.

Inspired by things around her life, Kittie brings a whole new meaning to creativity. Her personality reflects in her designs – just like her, it’s all about having fun, standing out and being pretty. “I used to design princess dresses on paper when I was younger. I cut the curtains in my room and hand sew them to my Barbie dolls,” says Kittie.

Her designs consist of everyday pieces, from dresses to suits. In 2015, Kittie wowed the audience with her collection and that kicked off her online sales. “The biggest lesson I have learned thus far is when you start something, your patience is always being tested. But, we have to be patient in order to keep our passion burning so that we can reach our target.”

Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

“I want this collection to encourage people to stay positive and cheerful no matter how hard of a situation they are in.”


 

"We have to be patient in order to keep our passion burning so that we can reach our target”


 

Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

The story behind Kittie’s latest collection, “By the Seashore” reflects around a romantic yet rebellious mermaid who wants to explore the world., Kittie went for a more pastel palette together with custom made prints of the sea. Purple and yellow hues are also used to compliment the core colours.

The collection sees loose fitting clothes and fluid movement pieces but both men and women. To maintain her signature quirky and jovial touch, self-embroidered characters can be seen on each piece.

Kittie sources for her materials from all around the world as she loves to travel. Inspired by Alexander McQueen’s creativity, Kittie hopes for her brand to grow internationally.

Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa
Checkered Jacket | Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Kittie Yiyi

Checkered Jacket

Blue Pocket Bag Jumpsuit | Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Kittie Yiyi

Blue Pocket Bag Jumpsuit

Polka Dot Pants | Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Kittie Yiyi

Polka Dot Pants

Bee Unisex Black Tee | Kittie Yiyi | Behind the Seams | Travelshopa

Kittie Yiyi

Bee Unisex Black Tee

Kittie Yiyi is available online.

All images courtesy of Kittie Yiyi.

The New Faces of Fashion in Kuala Lumpur

Nurita Harith | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa

 

Kuala Lumpur, a city known to many for its greenery, a variety of food, shopping scene, tropical climate and warm friendly people. This is a destination for your bucket list. You will definitely be spoilt for choice of not only the food and site but also, the vibrant fashion scene.

When it comes to fashion, there are some designers who have made their mark in the fashion industry not only locally but internationally. Dato’ Bernard Chandran, Melinda Looi, Zang Toi, Jimmy Choo and more. With the recent KL Fashion Week Ready to Wear 2016, the celebration of new and upcoming designers has never been greater.

These four fashion designers are the coolest names to know – and wear – right now in Kuala Lumpur. They are the are the new faces of fashion in Kuala Lumpur.

 


 

Joshua Fitton

By Appointment only | Also available online.

Joshua Fitton’s background in interior design has helped him bring forth his fashion brand, Atelier Fitton, for men. The emphasis is on a contemporary and timeless aesthetic where the architecture and construction of each piece are carefully thought through and executed. Each piece has been carefully engineered to be functional, comfortable and elegant.

Joshua Fitton | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa
Joshua Fitton | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa

 

Megat Alfie

With 15 years of fashion and luxury retail industry experience, Megat Alfie dwelled into fashion as a personal creative outlet as well as a self-discovery tool. Inspired by Syaiful Baharim, Megat loves creating resortwear for men as it is an extension and, somewhat , an exaggeration of what he wears on a daily basis. Megat Alfie has featured in two consecutive KL Fashion Weeks and there is no stopping him.

Megat Alfie | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa

Megat Alfie | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa Images: Andre Amir


 

Nurita Harith 

31A , Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur 59100

Known for her signature use of interesting silhouettes with soft layers and drapes, Nurita Harith has been interested in drawing since she was five. Her love for art and fashion keeps her doing what she loves most and the challenge of creating and designing keeps her on her feet. Besides being a ready to wear collection designer, she also does custom made designs.

Nurita Harith | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa
Nurita Harith | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa

 


 

Romyda KL

The Conversation Studio, 9 Lorong Beluntas 2, Medan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur | Also by available by appointment.

A beautiful collaboration between public relations mogul Selina Yeop Jr, singer Ning Baizura and Cambodian designer Romyda Keth is what spells out Romyda KL. Their debut at KL Fashion Week 2016 became the talk of the town. The collection saw French chic with Asian influence, and bold colours with flirty, fun and feminine designs.

 Romyda KL | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa
 Romyda KL | Fashion in Kuala Lumpur | Travelshopa

The New Faces of Fashion in Kuala Lumpur

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