Local fashion brands that should be on your radar in 2023

Finessing in fashion


By Low Sue Mae

Image credit: @__________uglypretty/ Instagram, @brenda.kuoh/ Instagram
Local fashion brands that should be on your radar in 2023

It’s the month of Malaysia’s National Day and we want to take a moment to appreciate all the top creatives in the homegrown fashion scene. In recent years, the local fashion industry has been blessed with young and innovative designers who have played a big part in helping the Malaysian fashion scene thrive once again.

From the streets of Taman Paramount to appearing in international waters, these rising brands have surprised many with their groundbreaking designs, winning the hearts of young style enthusiasts, both locally and internationally. Are you a certified Malaysian fashionista? Scroll down to see if you can recognise all the mentioned labels and if your favourites have made the list.


The culture-loving adventurer: Behati


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An intriguing mix of culture and controversy, Behati plays between the lines of traditional and modern. Kel Wen, the label’s founder, creates pieces inspired by traditional wear of all races in Malaysia, combined with his innovative vision—resulting in pieces that could be worn both during the festivities and the everyday. You might recognise some of his signature inventions—from boxy, oversized renditions of baju Melayu to cropped corset Cheongsam top.

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The artistic visualist: Caro Chia


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A brand that has caught the eyes of futuristic, subversive fashion fans, both locally and beyond, this brand made its name by exploring the genre of surrealism, taking inspiration from contemporary art. Designer Caro Chia continues to explore designs of different patterns and textiles, using fashion as a form of expression. The label is well-loved for its complex, eccentric, yet body-hugging designs. One of her famed works would be the ‘Barp 2021’, which uses minimalistic neutral tones as a basis, with splashes of vivid colours that intrigue the eyes of beholders.

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The versatile creator: Ghostboy Club


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It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this brand the ‘Pied Piper’ of young fashionistas in Malaysia. Ghostboy Club is one of the top fashion brands that is adored by local youths, with countless pieces selling out hours upon release. From advocating sustainability by making tops out of upcycled clothing to releasing fresh new collections of its own, the brand has continuously evolved to release designs of different concepts that Gen Z loves—from gothic to futuristic, space, Y2K and more.

Its recent Chinese New Year collection, ‘Gift You a Smile’ turned heads with the witty incorporation of familiar Chinese landscape paintings as fabric patterns and funky tassels on cheongsam with sexy silhouettes. Its pieces definitely make wearers the centre of attention anywhere they go.

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The mysterious maverick: Ugly Pretty


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Unconventional and out-of-the-ordinary are some descriptions that are befitting of the label. From designs to aesthetics and presentation, Ugly Pretty is definitely paving its own path in the fashion scene with its raw, deconstructed and youthful garments. With its name, Ugly Pretty, which aims to blur the lines of ideal standards set by society, this brand creates collections for the daredevils and those keen to stand out.

The latest collection is also a huge success, alluring eyes of the beholders into a dreamy landscape filled with offbeat, abstract-shaped bags alongside a line of clothing that teases with texture and bold cut-outs.



The glamorous stylista: Brenda Kuoh


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Known for her previous designs that are elegantly embellished with gems and jewels, Brenda Kuoh has created an avant garde brand named after herself. Now, her creations seamlessly blend the element of femininity into their daring silhouettes while playing with different textiles, presenting an end product that is anything but ordinary. This designer has also been awarded as the Global Young Talent 2020 by Fashion Crossover London.

Her recent capsule collection is an embodiment of Parisian chic, perfect for women who are looking for something that says “effortless elegance” for joyful nights out.

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The sustainable reconstructor: XUE_S


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Giving used garment a second chance, this brand stands firm on the concept of sustainability when it comes to fashion. XUE_S designs using durable and versatile thrifted denim fabrics, inventing unique and ethically created statement pieces that are perfect for everyday wear.

The brand’s latest collection also ventures beyond denim, showing a line of reworked pieces that knows no boundaries. If you’re a sustainable fashion girlie who’s looking for one-of-a-kind pieces to add to your wardrobe, this is definitely a brand that’s worth checking out.

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