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.

Jonathan Liang

Dude & Duchess | Jonathan Liang on Kuala Lumpur | Jonathan Liang | Travelshopa

 

As the Founder of the eponymous label, Jonathan Liang and Creative Director of Dude & the Duchess, Jonathan Liang has chalked up quite an impressive resume for himself. The KL-born, now Paris-based fashion prodigy talks to us about his must-hit KL spots when he’s in town.

 


 

Where I live…

I live in Paris at the moment and shuttle between KL and Paris for work. Before Paris, I lived in KL for 22 years. It’s a great situation to be in because I get the best of both worlds and both time zones.

 

Favourite thing about living in Kuala Lumpur…

The convenience of finding food in every corner at any hour. Oh, and being around the people I love.

 

A quirk that you’ve observed among the local people…

While stuffing our faces, we’re still discussing about other best places to eat around town, or how to make our favorite food.

 

What sets Kuala Lumpur apart from any other city…

The diversity in language, ethnicity, culture and like all my foreign friends say, the ability to use 3 different accents interchangeably.

 

Your favourite local haunt…

I love Lokl and Acme for the great ambience, otherwise, my other getaway would be this curry laksa store somewhere in the back alleys of Petaling street. It’s the best.

 

Your favourite place to shop…

Pavilion seems to be the only option in KL for me. I’m not very picky when it comes to clothes so mainstream brands work well, and I go for quality accessories like shoes and bags, so luxury designers take that spot. Pavilion covers both.

 

KL’s best hidden gem…

The local designers and their budding businesses. From Joe Chia, Ezzati Amira to Man Chien and Silas Liew, they are all approachable and attainable. Think amazing designer pieces at really well-deserved prices.

 

One place a tourist must visit…

Fat spoon – a nyonya restaurant in Uptown. They have some of the most authentic and amazing peranakan food ever.

 

Where can we find you in your downtime

At home, really. I’m a stay-in kinda guy.

Didie Nasir

Dynda Designs | Didie Nasir on Kuala Lumpur | Didie Nasir | Travelshopa

 

As the Founder and Creative Director at Dynda Designs, Didie Nasir takes us on a tour of the place she is proud to call home, Kuala Lumpur.

 


 

Where I live…

I live in a suburban neighborhood called Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah. It’s a gated community that’s reminiscent of Wisteria Lane from the Desperate Housewives series! (or so I’ve been told!) Being a mother of two and an entrepreneur, I enjoy the best of both worlds where I can watch my kids grow and manage my staff who enjoy working in a stress-free environment. A lot of my work at Dynda Designs requires me to travel to different parts of Asia, so basically, I work everywhere!

 

I love about that area…

Besides the idyllic surroundings, it’s a very quiet and calm neighborhood. The neighbours are friendly and can be considered as extended family, but at the same time they respect your privacy.

 

Favourite thing about living in Kuala Lumpur…

The food! People who know me, know that I am a foodie. I travel for food. On top, of the local cuisine, there has been an explosion of restaurants in KL so there’s practically something new to eat every week!  

 

A quirk that you’ve observed among the local people…

In my eyes, I think the local people are a little bit laid back when it comes to dressing. I would like to see people putting a little bit more effort in dressing up. Even with the hot weather, there are ways for people to look chic!  

 

This sets Kuala Lumpur apart from any other city…

Kuala Lumpur is still growing. It’s constantly developing and there is always something new to it. Being able to watch a city flourish is an amazing thing to behold. Not to mention, the different walks of life juxtaposed against each other.

 

Your favourite local haunt…

I like to go everywhere depending on my mood for that day. But if I had to choose one it would be sitting in a nice cafe and sipping my iced coffee while watching people walk by.

 

Favourite place to shop…

I like to shop in Pavilion mall where there’s plenty of international designers hailing from all the different parts of the world. The best area to shop for local designers is Bangsar, as it has the highest concentration of local designer shops. 

 

KL’s best hidden gem…

In a bustling city, where everyone is constantly on the go, it’s important to put your feet up and relax once in awhile which is why I would recommend Villa Samadhi as KL’s best hidden gem. A little paradise in an urban jungle.

 

One place a tourist must visit…

Central Market! It’s where you can buy Malaysian arts and crafts at a good price and you can catch some local talents performing in the area.

 

In my downtime…

With my busy schedule juggling work with motherhood – you will probably find me at home cooking delicious meals or out catching up with friends over desserts! 

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