Evonne and I recently attended the Malaysia Fashion Week (MFW), which is a project by INTRADE, at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC) running from 2nd to 5th November 2016.
The four-day event was jointly organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and STYLO International. MFW is the largest trade fashion and lifestyle event in the country and features a dedicated fashion and lifestyle exhibition sprawling over 32,800 square feet. The exhibition features six main clusters – fashion, apparel and accessories; jewellery; beauty, hair products and cosmetics; arts and handicrafts, lifestyle and interior decor; textile and peripherals.
MFW, the only trade event dedicated for fashion and lifestyle sector in the country, showcased more than 300 exhibition booths by local and international exhibitors from 16 countries namely; Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Turkey and Malaysia.
Complementing the exhibition were hourly fashion shows by local and international designers, gala events, tribute galleries and a Premium Outlet Sale, among many others.
MFW showcased the Spring/Summer 2017 collections of over 100 fashion designers on the runway to potential international buyers, through two MFW fashion components – the Malaysia Fashion Showcase (MFS) featuring Malaysian designers; and the Mercedes-Benz STYLO Asia Fashion Week.
With the theme “Inclusivity”, the shows featured designs from top local designers from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and the Peranakan community such as Bon Zainal, Bill Keith, Adrianna Yariqa featuring actress, singer and TV host, Fazura, Jo Disaya, Owl by ND (a brand by Nora Danish), Adamaya and many others. There were also Tribute Galleries that featured Prof Dato’ Jimmy Choo Gallery, Zang Toi Gallery and the Mercedes Benz Gallery.
A key event at this year’s MFW was the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) – MATRADE’s signature business matching programme that matches local brands with international buyers. This year, over 1,400 business meetings were arranged for local fashion players with potential international partners.
Another star component at the MFW 2016 was the Premium Outlet Sale located at the 3rd floor of MECC where visitors enjoyed discounts of up to 70% for designer goods by world’s renowned brands such as Chanel, Tod’s Micheal Kors, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Kenzo, Burberry as well as from local brands namely Bon Zainal and Bill Keith.
Positioned as a springboard for Malaysian fashion companies and designers to start their global business, MFW is a public-private initiative aimed at elevating the profile of Malaysia as a fashion capital in the region.
“Being a multi-racial country, Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures, religions and backgrounds, making the nation one-of-a-kind. Fashion, in a region as diverse as Asia, is exciting but challenging too at the same time. We hope MFW will provide a conducive environment for fashion players from around the world to create and innovate fashion while trading and learning with one another,” said MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer as well as the Chairman of MFW Dato’ Dzulkifli Mahmud.
Exports of lifestyle and fashion products or also known as ‘soft exports’ for the past recent years have been gaining momentum. In 2015, soft exports rose double digit by 13.2 percent to RM36.91 billion as compared to RM 32.61 billion in the previous year. In the first eight months of 2016, soft exports continued to register steady growth of 5.3 percent to record RM24.76 billion as against RM 23.51 billion in the same period of last year.
“External demand continues to generate ample opportunities for local enterprises to expand their horizon globally despite the global economic uncertainties,” Dato’ Dzulkifli said. For soft exports, the USA topped the list of major markets with RM3.79 billion worth of exports last year, followed by the Singapore (RM3.31 billion), UAE (RM3.01 billion), Japan(RM1.89 billion), Australia (RM0.94 billion), China (RM0.84 billion), Turkey(RM0.60 billion), Indonesia(RM0.55 billion), Vietnam (RM0.50 billion) and South Korea (RM0.48 billion). These top ten markets accounted for 71 percent of Malaysia’s total exports of lifestyle goods.
MFW 2016 closed with a Zouk and TREC-sponsored after-party and A Cut Above & Malaysia Fashion Showcase in conjunction with the Mercedes Benz STYLO Asia Fashion Week.
MFW 2016’s official partners are Epson Sdn Bhd, Malindo Air, United Overseas Bank (UOB), Spectrum, IACT College & Brickfields Asia College (BAC), Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, A Cut Above, Malaysian Hairdressing Association (MHA), Ortea, Cium Kissable Lipbalm, Empro, Slimming Sanctuary, Fortunate Coffee, Coway, Grabcar.
For more info, head over to malaysiafashionweek.my
Photo credits: MFW and author’s own