5 Fashionable Brands You Didn’t Know Were Malaysian

Think local brands are not of your high-quality standards? Think again because you might have been purchasing them all these while! In fact, Malaysia is home to globally-known brands that are often mistaken as foreign brands. Here are five fashionable brands that are indeed Malaysian.

1. Mr. Self Portrait

Although many Malaysians might not know this, aside from Jimmy Choo & Christy Ng, there’s also another local designer who has made it big abroad. Yeap, the MVP we’re referring to is Penang-born Han Chong, who is popularly known in the fashion world as Mr. Self-Portrait.

It has been 5 grand years since the 38-year-old launced his brand in London, which he admitted wasn’t always a smooth-sailing journey. But with good marketing skills and impeccable talent in garment design, Self-Portrait rose to fame in a short period of time and was even included as one of the “500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry” for two years in a row by The Business of Fashion.

The brand, famously known for it’s iconic lace dress, is sold by renowned retailers such as Selfridges and Net-a-porter. Celebrities were also spotted donning outfits from the Self-Portrait label, including Beyonce, Rachel McAdams, Emily Blunt, Jessica Biel, Resse Witherspoon, Jamie Chung and Kendall Jenner, to name a few.

2. Lewré

Pretty sure most of you have passed this store a million times. Yes, this is indeed a local brand!  Mentored by shoe designer extraordinaire, Jimmy Choo, Datuk Lewré Lew, launched the footwear brand in 1997 and is now marketed to over 20 countries including Australia, Taiwan, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The brand has since ventured into the gourmet world in 2015 with restaurant chain Nicsmann 1940s. Fashion labels with fancy cafes? Datuk Lewré is sure following in the footsteps of Gucci and Tiffany & Co!

3. Bonia/Sembonia/Carlo Rino 

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Oh, Bonia! One of the stores that just intimidates you (at least to some). Often decorated in beautiful gold tones, the high-end store just screams Italian luxury!

But it’s not. In fact, this Italiano-sounding brand that owns Sembonia and Carlo Rino too is from Malaysia! It was founded in 1974 by Group Executive Chairman, S.S Chiang when he visited the Leather Trade Fair in Bologna, Italy and was inspired by the artwork of 16th-century sculptor, Giambologna. Who knew!

4. Flipper 

This super comfy, rubber flip flop is a – you’ve guessed it, Malaysian! Although it may have a Hawaiian design to it, the manufacturing and distribution are all locally made.

Started by Jack Lim in 2008, it has opened 45 outlets both internationally and in Malaysia. If you didn’t know, the elephant symbol shown on each flip flop is a symbol for the natural Thai rubber material used to make the shoes!

5. British India 

Contrary to the name, British India is not an East India Company. Inspired by Malaysia’s era of colonialisation, Pat Liew of BTC Clothier Sdn Bhd founded the culturalistic clothing line in 1994.

It is now one of Asia’s influential apparel brands with over 40 outlets across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

On another note, if you’re still looking for a chilled out way to celebrate National Day, let’s come together as a country by having a big breakfast together like these boys!