10 Malaysian fashion brands that are founded by celebrity and influencer entrepreneurs
Regardless of how you feel about social media influencers and celebrities, there’s no denying that they are today’s hottest entrepreneurs. Long gone are the days where they use their popularity to only endorse products of others—from beauty brands to fashion labels, more and more influencers (or KOLs, as some call them) have leveraged their powerful URL presence to turn their passion into IRL profit. They've launched brands that are now some of the most successful businesses in the industry. A great example? The Kardashians and their long list of ventures.
When it comes to fashion influencer entrepreneur, some of the social media stars who have successfully built a fashion brand themselves include Chiara Ferragni with her eponymous label, Aimee Song with Song of Style, Rumi Neely with Are You Am I, Danielle Bernstein with WeWoreWhat, and more.
Below, we shine the spotlight on our very own Malaysian It-list, who have all launched some of the most well-loved fashion and accessories labels locally (and internationally):
Yaya Zahir: Asly
Aside from being a TV host and influencer, Yaya Zahir is also the founder of Asly, Asly Beauty, and cookie brand, Oh My Dough. Her fashion label is known for its oversized T-shirts, although it recently collaborated with phone accessories label Case Ninetyfive on a range of cases and pop sockets.
Janechuck is undoubtedly one of the leading influencers locally, and in recent years, she has also established herself as an entrepreneur thanks to her brands—Chuck’s for facial masks, and Motherchuckers for cosy loungewear—that have been some of the most raved-about labels as of late.
Juwei and Junees Teoh: Materialipstick
Founded by sisters Juwei and Junees Teoh in 2015 alongside their friends, Wei Wei Jong and Charlyne Goh, Materialipstick is a bag label that has one simple aim: to elevate one’s style. The brand currently has stockists in KL, JB, Singapore, and China, and its signature Alyson bag is now available in six different variations.
Nana Law: Lola
Lola may have started out as a gown rental business, but its founder, influencer Nana Law has expanded its offerings to include one-of-a-kind upcycled pieces, slinky slip dresses, and cute loungewear sets that can be worn at home and out and about. Follow its Instagram page for special drops.
Kittie Yiyi: Kittie Yiyi Collection
Kitte Yiyi may have started out as a fashion designer, but she has also made a name for herself as one of the most well-loved influencers locally, thanks to her bold and quirky style that is a reflection of her design aesthetic. The brand recently launched its Autumn/Winter 2020 collection that was presented via a virtual show format. Watch the clip here.
Charis Ow: Niko and Clare
Looking for stylish mummy-and-me clothes? Together with her friend Niniek Sugiarti, Youtuber, singer, and TV host Charis Ow has launched a fashion brand that aims to elevate every woman (and their kids)' style, and trust us when we say that the pieces are as stylish as they are comfortable. The brand's very first collection is titled "We Celebrate ____"—a reminder for everyone to focus on the positive side of things amidst these difficult times.
Josephine Yap: Fondest
Josephine Yap, or more commonly known as @jyjosephine, may have taken a hiatus after launching a small collection for Fondest in 2019, but the brand's back in full swing since October last year, with a series of limited cosy loungewear and cute, girly dresses that'll make a trendy addition to any wardrobe. The label's sustainability efforts are worth noting too.
Aina Syahirah and Julie Anne Kang: Kulet
Known for its chic and minimal footwear, Kulet was named to reflect its signature nude colour palette that complements different skin tones. Aside from its popular women’s collection that ranges from sandals to heels, the brand also has a Kulet Guy range that offers no-frills sandals. Its founders Aina Syahirah and Julie Anne Kang are also some of the most stylish It-girls around.
Neelofa needs no introduction. As one of the top celebrities in Malaysia—and a rising Hijabi fashionista in the international scene—the 31-year-old is also behind one of the most successful headscarves brands in the region, with stockists in over 37 countries. Naelofar's latest releases include its best-selling semi-instant square and shawl designs in new colourways.
It’s impossible to mention celebrity entrepreneurs without thinking of Fazura and her brand, Fazbulous. Founded 10 years ago by the mama-to-be, unlike the rest of the brands on our list, Fazbulous sells a wide range of items, from baju kurungs to hijabs to face masks and more.