{iStyle} High Expectations for Malaysia-International Fashion Week

By: Kelly Ahern, guest blogger

Fashion has made its mark on New York, Milan, London and Paris in the passing weeks; but there is no end in sight as trendy couture prepares to visit Malaysia.

The 8th installment of Malaysia-International Fashion Week 2010 [M-IFW10] will take place at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur beginning November 2nd through the 6th.

Designer Eric Choong; Center

Arguably the largest, most influential, fashion event to take place within the country, [M-IFW10] is an ongoing effort supported by the Malaysian International Fashion Alliance, MIFA, as an attempt to support the professional development of local designers as well as globally promote Malaysian fashion.

A total of 70 Malaysian designers will debut their designs over the course of five-days, including popular local designers Michael Ong, Datuk Bernard Chandran, Datuk Farah Khan and Eric Choong.

International super-brands such as Emilio Pucci, Halston and Helmut Lang will also make an appearance.

The weeklong high-fashion party is not just for those who are established and have already built a name for themselves, [M-IFW10] will also Malaysian give up-and-coming designers the chance to flaunt their collections.

In a recent article for Malaysia’s The Star, MIFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Syeba Yip, commented that fashion week is, “a way of helping ‘low-lying’ brands…we want to remind local consumers of our talented local designers,” adding that he believed, “This is the time for Asian designers to be noticed by the world”.

A newly released [M-IFW10] advertising campaign features (from left) Kavita Sidhu, Deborah Henry, Datuk Farah Khan, Raja Datuk Nordiana Zainal Shah and Syeba Yip.

In addition to promoting the native fashion industry, [M-IFW10] hopes to also boost tourism and trade throughout the country.

“Tourism is a good way of exposing our local designers to foreigners,” Yip tells The Star. “Besides going to resorts, tourists who come here will also experience our local fashion scene”.

Endorsed by Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), the [M-IFW10] attracts trade and industry members including other designers, fashion buyers and lifestyle media from the not only its Asian region but also the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand– great exposure for Malaysian designers to get their hands on.

Meanwhile, M-IFW, which originated in 2003, is presented by MIFA in collaboration with a local integrated services provider, Maxis.

Maxis’ VP, Head of Products, Devices and Innovation, T. Kugan (center) with MIFA CEO Yip (right)

Maxis, which services over 12 million customers, will offer a custom-made interface connecting all sides of the fashion community as well as unique style contents related to [M-IFW10] to its mobile and online devices.

“New technology is driving more people to connect and interact, both online and in the real world. Thanks to Maxis, our designers can now connect with trade professionals and fashion lovers from around the world, and gain access to new and previously untapped markets,” Yip told The Star.

Highlights for [M-IFW10] include: the launch of Maxis’ online/mobile fashion portal, a photography exhibition featuring 100 iconic Malaysian personalities by renowned local photographer Bustamam Mokhtar, the annual Malaysia-International Fashion Awards (M-IFA) Gala as well as a children’s charity fashion show, Fashion Gives Back.

Malaysian sculptor, Khing Chan, will also be a part of Fashion Gives Back by providing a preview of the art showpieces created for a charity auction, taking place this June.

The sculptures include life-like figurines of famous fashion personalities such as Bernard Chandran, Karl Lagerfeld, Asian supermodel Liu Wen and Anna Wintour. The figurines will also be paired with limited edition items from 20 luxury brands including the ultra-luxurious Tiffany & Co.

It’s safe to say there is a lot to expect from Malaysia-International Fashion Week 2010.

With the abundance of fresh, raw talent, and emerging technology the Malaysian fashion industry is certainly developing rapidly; proving its local native designers will do what it takes to share their sense of style.


Kelly Ahern is a recent Roger Williams Univeristy graduate living in New England. She graduated with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a Core Concertration in Italian. She is an aspiring PR professional who loves social media, fashion and traveling. You can find her on Twitter @Kelly_Ahern.

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