The evolution of style and personal growth according to Phei Yong

The business of style


By Sarah Hani Jamil

The evolution of style and personal growth according to Phei Yong

Evolving in social media and the entertainment industry is no small feat but 28-year-old content creator and entrepreneur Chan Phei Yong has made it look seamless. Starting his career as a radio DJ in 2015, Phei Yong later ventured into YouTube full-time with his own channel in 2017, creating comedic and personal content revolving around his life that so many could relate to. This garnered him a huge audience with up to 718,000 subscribers on the platform.

These days, Phei Yong has taken on many new roles, including founding CMaker Production—a TV and video production company— in addition to being a style influencer, working with numerous high-fashion brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Longchamp to create fashion content. Therefore, his next career move, the launch of his own online clothing brand Step8ight, felt like a natural progression for the young multi-hyphenate. Here, he shares the idea that sparked the launch of his label.

Hi, Phei Yong! Tell us about yourself.

“Hey there! I’m the Managing Director of a newly-launched clothing brand, Step8ight. Honestly, it feels quite surreal to not be here today as a YouTuber or a host, but I’m excited for this new adventure.”

What was your first encounter with fashion?

“I regard myself as a late bloomer in the fashion industry. It wasn’t until the third year of being a radio DJ that I slowly began to get in touch with fashion. The way I see it, style evolves with age—the point in time and phases of life that you go through as the years go by. I am now a firm believer that fashion is all about cherry-picking a flower that symbolises and represents who you are, despite the many different blooms that light up the garden.”


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How did Step8eight come about and what is the inspiration behind it?

“Our 30s are a defining decade and entering it is a pretty huge deal to me. That’s why I came up with 12 milestones to achieve by the end of the year. Starting a personal brand is the eighth on my list and one I’m very proud of as style exudes presence and shows the world who you are and who you want to be. There’s nothing I would like better than to look in the mirror and truly feel good about what I’m wearing.”

The oversized reversible blazer is your featured product. Can you share more details about this item and how you would style it?

“The first ready-to-wear item by Step8ight is an oversized, two-way reversible blazer, hugely inspired by the facets of my personality. One side is for the party person, with the logos worn outwards. And the other is for a calm and laid back persona, worn plain-side-out when you need to be subtle and more formal.”


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What else can we look forward to Step8ight in the future?

“We’ve recently launched the versatile, oversized Cuban Shirt. It is wrinkle-free for an effortless everyday look. It’s an essential everyone should own and is available in four colours, including our very own Step8ight green. As a brand, Step8ight strives to constantly evolve and step ahead of the curve, no matter the destination.”


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Who inspires you, style-wise?

“Frankly speaking, the one muse that inspired my love for fashion isn’t a renowned brand or fashionista—it’s my father. He may not be the most impeccably dressed person with an exquisite sense of style, but the fact is that he’s a self-demanding person who’s had a huge impact on the way that I conduct myself now. Similarly, fashion is fueled by the desire to express the quirkiest ideas and demands I have in terms of styling.”


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What do you hope to see more of from the local fashion industry?

“Regardless of the industry we are in, our country has always had the greatest advantage: Malaysia is, in fact, a developing nation with plenty of potential to grow. When there is no market saturation, the opportunities are endless in the big blue ocean!”

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