Buro 24/7 sits down with Andrew Tan, founder of KL Fashion Week RTW

Local pride


By Cai Mei Khoo

Buro 24/7 sits down with Andrew Tan, founder of KL Fashion Week RTW

This is the third year you’re organising KLFW RTW. What can we expect this time around?

We are proud to welcome back a great numbers of designers this season as well as to be an important platform to a growing number of new talent. The amount of designers showing for the first time is a great testament of the attention Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week is receiving both on a national and international level.


What do you hope to achieve with this year’s instalment?

I hope the growth and creativity that we have fostered for the Malaysian fashion industry for the past 2 years has managed to create buzz around the Asia Pacific Region. As further incentive for a bi-lateral dialogue, we are featuring designers from China, Turkey, UK, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore and an accompanying media from each respective country.


How has KLFW evolved through the years?

KLFW’s first year was all about promoting the Ready-to-Wear line as a complement to the made-to-order collections most Malaysian designers seemed to prefer. This might seem simple enough but a shift to Ready-to-Wear is also a shift in their way of designing, manufacturing, and distribution—it changes their whole perspective on fashion as a business.


During our second year, we’ve had a tremendous response from the designer’s customers and most of them are able to do well with pre-orders and advanced bookings from customers. Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week is a business to consumer platform and if the designers are shown a favourable response from their customers, then half our job has already been done.


How has the industry responded so far?

It’s been noisy with all things KL Fashion Week—the excitement, the anticipation, the debates, the hype on social media… a dialogue is building from so many walks of life and the more people talk about fashion, the better it is for the whole industry!


In the past three years, which young designers have caught your eye and why?

Afiq M, Kittie Yiyi and Manchien—for staying true to their creative and aesthetic vision. It’s not an easy road and they had the guts to do it, which is a quality I respect and admire.


What are your thoughts on Malaysian fashion/Malaysian designers? How do we fit in the global fashion industry?

We have a lot of creativity in Malaysia and this needs to be channeled into a sort of “Creative Incubation Program” and for this I must thank another one of our partners—MyCreative.  They are a semi-government organization that provides loans for all Malaysian creativity endeavours.


In terms of the global fashion industry, we haven’t created enough noise to be heard on a global level but then again Rome isn’t built in a day. What we are doing now is to make in-roads and to create awareness within the Asia Pacific Region and then hopefully, the fashion capitals. In fact, some designers that are more ready and capable are already doing their own exhibition at Tranoi, Paris. They are also important components in spreading the creativity that Malaysia has to offer across the world!


Fashion designers you admire?

Nicolas Ghesquière and Raf Simons.


Aside from fashion, what are some of your passions in life?

Architecture—because of its permanence.








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