Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Five Brands that Malaysia Wants

The competition between Asian cities in garnering 'Shopping Paradise" title is quite intense and every city and country is going neck-to -neck offering the best of the best in retail world to woo both regional and global shoppers.

Though KL has been proudly lauding itself as shopper's heaven for the past few years, thanks to the ubiquitous presence of designer labels and their first-of-its-kind two-storey establishments in the South East Asia region, the truth is, we are still behind the
established cities such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore that have long been frequented by jetsetting shoppers from all over the world.

Take Jakarta for instance. They may have no two-storey Ferragamo or Juicy Couture stores, but to my surprise, there are four Bot
tega Venetta stores in the city whereas KL has ... none. Best of all, they also have a standalone Roberto Cavalli store whereas KL has, again, none!

So, below are the top five brands most wanted in the country and at the same time, would help KL to soar higher as Asia's premier shopping destination, beating the likes of Hong Kong (which is the current fashion capital of Asia) and our neighbour Singapore.


Of late, there are so many readers asking me (via email that is) on where to buy NARS makeup in Malaysia. Sadly, there are no apothecaries or even counters for this cult brand from the US.

There used to be a NARS store in Singapore but when I checked the store locator on the website, Singapore is not on the list, thus made me thinking that the Singapore store has been closed. Here's a bit about NARS.

NARS is a cult beauty brand founded by François Nars, whose iconoclastic philosophy and mission is to empower women to experiment and have fun with makeup by teaching them how to enhance their natural beauty and individual characteristics.

Providing a spectrum of colors,
both classic and fashion-forward, NARS beauty product attained its cult status after being featured in top notch fashion publications namely In Style, Vogue, Allure, and Cosmopolitan. Even celebrity makeup artists and celebrity themselves were known to be NARS faithful devotees. There's also a NARS skincare line called NARSkin, formulated to purify and provide luminous and healthy skin.

At the moment, NARS beauty and skincare lines are available in Bangkok at selected Central department stores, Manila at selected apothecaries and Rustans', as well as in Hong Kong at the Landmark


Roger Vivier is one of the most sought after shoe label in the world, after Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo. This Parisian label has been seen gracing the dainty feet of top-notch Tinseltown residents, socialites, and rabid fashionistas around the world.

Born in 1913, Vivier is famous for his extravagantly decorated shoes, which he called them as sculptures. Vivier was also the inventor of every woman's favorite heels - stilettos.

From 1953 to 1963, he designed shoes for the house of Christian Dior and soon, his designs received attention from the glitterratis. One of his creations was worn by French actress Catherine Deneuve in her film, Belle du Jour.

Though Vivier had passed away ten years ago, his legacy still remains and the company was later bought by TODS group.

Today, Vivier creations are sold at selected high end footwear and accessories retailers around the world, as well as Roger Vivier boutiques. There's one in Hong Kong, located at the Landmark, Central Hong Kong.


She is one of the original New York society girls, alongside Diane von Furstenberg, Babe Paley, C.Z. Guest, and Gloria Vanderbilt, and she's also a celebrated designer of the century. Though Carolina Herrera needs no further introduction since her fragrances are well-received here, yet not many are aware of her clothing line.

Known for her dramatic mix of modern and couture elegance within her designs, Herrera's dresses and ensembles are something to die for and have always been seen on the red carpets with actress Rene Zelwegger as one of the celebrities who frequently be spotted in her designs.

For spring/summer, Herrera took watercolor paintings of Jeremiah Goodman as her point of references and used exciting color palette of blue pool, pear green, clementine orange, and pink peonies.

These colors are then combined with lush materials such as printed silk gazaar, lacquered chiffon, and devore organza, creating a line of luxurious ready-to-wear pieces to match your ideal summer vacation.

Carolina Herrera's spring/summer 2008 are available at Carolina Herrera boutiques and selected retailers around the world.


I know that for ages, many Malaysian fashionistas have been longing to see a Miu Miu store in Malaysia so they don't have to drive like five hours south (yep, to Singapore) just to get their hands on its latest collection. The last time I saw Miu Miu in Malaysia was when Belle brought the entire line here, along with Roberto Cavalli but those days are gone.

The brainchild of Miuccia Prada, Miu Miu features clean and stylish designs, which appeals to the younger crowd while at the same time, retaining Prada's trademark minimalist styles.

Sometimes, you may expect a bit of artistic approach in Miu Miu, especially the shoes and that Baroque-carved wooden wedges from fall/winter 2006 remains my favorite till this day.

For spring/summer 2008, the harlequins of Comedia del Arte became Prada's latest muse for Miu Miu and expect a collection swathed with bright and fun colors, harlequin images, and peppered with a bit of volumes. Miu Miu spring/summer 2008
collection is available now at Miu Miu store at The Paragon, Singapore.


Everybody loves H&M, especially after Madonna created her capsule clothing line for the brand called M by Madonna. Another fashionable Swedish export to the world after IKEA, H&M or its full name Hennes and Mauritz is high on everyone's 'must have in Malaysia' list.

Founded by Erling Persson in 1947, H&M started out as a woman's clothing store (Hennes means hers in Swedish) and expanded into menswear after acquiring the premise and inventory of a Swedish hunting equipment store by the name of Mauritz Widforrs, thus H&M was born.

Offering high-quality clothes at a price that everyone could afford (wait till it comes to KL and see whether everyone could afford it or not?), H&M was the pioneer behind the affordable designer collections designed by Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli.

It was H&M too that helped cemented Madonna's current status as a fashion authority via her sellout M by Madonna collection.
This season, look out for H&M's latest collaboration with the celebrities with aim to combat AIDS from widespreading among youth. This unique collaboration collection will be available at all H&M stores worldwide.

So people, lets wish that all of these five hit brands will make their way to our fair shores either this year or in the years to come.

*Photos courtesy of Eggy Boil from,NARS, Miu Miu, Bluefly, and H&M.

3 fashionistas wrote ...:

aizat.cinta.goddess said...

i love HnM..mase kat uk dlu i jd gile coz finally dpt borong HnM...suruh lah sape2 bwk HnM msuk kl..

Ana Shirin said...

I agree!! We NEED Miu Miu & NARS...

alea amin said...

Urban Outfitters

Don't really bother about branded goods entering here, though i am brand junkie. but cant afford it yet.
Meh.. im more to boutiques anyway.