HORROR, BUT MAKE IT FASHION: When you think of twins, what comes to mind? Mary-Kate and Ashley, no doubt. Cole and Dylan Sprouse, perhaps? Or, maybe your mind went straight to the Grady sisters from The Shining. That's where all of this started for us, at least. It's rare that inspiration comes so quickly, but almost as soon as stylist twins Deanna and Deanni had been confirmed as our January cover stars, the theme of the day was set with a macabre twist.
Makeup: Fluide De Beauté Fini Naturel in Fair Medium 210C; Poudre de Beauté Mat Naturel in 000; Blush de Beauté in 03 Radiant Pink; Beauté Des Yeux Gorgeous Flora Palette; Rouge à Lèvres Lipstick in 515 Devotion and 217 Valeria Rose / All Gucci Beauty | Hair: Osis+ Extreme Hold Hairspray; Osis+ Dry Sugar Spray / All Schwarzkopf Professional
Meet: The Sagittarius sisters
The girls are over 20 minutes early to our cover shoot—a dream for any production team—greeting everyone with big smiles and plenty of warmth. It's a far cry from the personalities you'd expect behind the deadpan, piercing gazes of their social media personas, but their friendly disposition is a welcome subversion to our expectations.

The first thing I notice about the twins is their hair—on the day of our shoot, Deanna sports a mane of light grey, accented by a panel of shocking slime green. Her sister, Deanni, wears her hair in a quasi-natural ombré that goes from an inky black at the roots to a cool deep blue at the ends.

If not for their vibrant tresses, it would be pretty difficult for fresh eyes to tell them apart (and, suffice to say that, even with their magnificent manes, not all confusion was quelled from the crew throughout the day). That said, once you've spent a little time with them both, the tells between them become much clearer.

Deanna describes her relationship with her sister as "very kak sulung-bongsu vibes" as opposed to that of twin sisters. Deanni agrees, going on to elaborate: "Although we are twins and we're the same age (obviously), because Deanna is 15 minutes older than me, I've always kind of looked up to her. To me, she's my big sister and she has always looked at me as her younger sister."

"We respect each other but we fight a lot—it's a love-hate relationship, but she's my best friend for life," she continues.

While shooting our cover photo (above), I explain that the shot was inspired by Bette and Dot Tattler in American Horror Story: Freak Show, joking that I was going to leave them conjoined by the ponytail permanently. As expected, this was met with much protest. "I would cry everyday. I could not be conjoined!" Deanni exclaims. "I feel as if we are already attached at the hip—we can't get any closer!"
— Deanni on her relationship with Deanna
— Deanni on her relationship with Deanna
On DEANNA (L)Top: Behati; Jeans: Shaofen; Shoes: Gucci
On DEANNI (R)Top: Behati; Bottoms: Kit Woo; Shoes: Gucci
D + D: The early years
The twins were born in Johor Bahru on the 13th of December, 1995 (it was a Wednesday, not a Friday—there's an Addams family joke somewhere in here). Fun fact: Whether they are actually identical or if, like the Olsen twins, they're simply identical-looking fraternal twins is a mystery to this day.

They would go on to spend most of their childhood years in JB, of which they remember very little. However, though the exact details of their childhood are a bit of a blur, the girls do recall one thing: a matching denim set they had owned at the age of six, decorated with the iconic pink 'Barbie' logo. According to the twins, this was their earliest fashion memory, and their obsession with denim continued well into their adulthood. Of course, there was also The Style Queen—an endearing term used to describe their mother, to whom they credit as an early influence on their love of fashion, as well as a figure they have continued to esteem well beyond their formative years.

At 15, they made the big move to Kuala Lumpur (well, technically, Selangor) for their mother's work, which set them on their current trajectory. "We had nothing to do with it, but moving to Selangor was the best decision of our lives," Deanni asserts.
On both DEANNI (L) and DEANNA (R) Top: Anaabu
On planting the seeds for their career in fashion
They remained in KL until the end of their SPM exams, after which they found themselves pursuing their studies in language and culture in Japan. "My mum was always fascinated with Japanese culture and that rubbed off on us growing up," Deanna recalls. Her sister then adds: "We had started working right after our exams were over, and Mum was like, 'Why don't you go to Japan and study the language? If anything fails, you can work with me as a tour guide or as a translator.' And we thought, 'Why not?' At least we'd have a backup plan!"

"France was also an option, but I'm glad she chose Japan in the end," Deanna adds. She goes on to clarify that it was in Japan that the sisters would develop their own personal styles and hone in on their talents, which eventually led them to where they are today. "Living there taught me independence," Deanna explains. "I'm an introvert and had to learn to socialise and to make friends. I learned more about styling based on the brands and people there, and how to express myself more in the way that I dress."

"Starting our business, getting into fashion in the first place—it's all because of Japan," Deanni concurs. "The people there are so stylish. They really know how to layer! Plus, all the thrift stores there are crazy. Nothing that I've ever seen here in Malaysia compares."

While their time in Japan had developed their interest in the industry, it wasn't until after they had returned back to KL that their fashion careers really took off.
On finding their stride in the fashion world
Upon returning to KL, the twins took up employment at a local cafe while they figured out their next move. Believe it or not, a career in fashion wasn't initially on either Deanni or Deanna's radars—rather, the girls saw themselves pursuing vastly varied paths.

Specifically, they were looking into either translator work or furthering their studies. "That was the reason we had initially moved to Japan—because my mum wanted us to work with her," says Deanni. "But we had also planned to continue our studies in interior design and architecture there, so that was another line of work we would have looked into if we hadn't become stylists."

In the end, with their experience of Japan's rich fashion landscape still fresh in their minds, the girls hatched a business plan. Thus, their curated vintage shop—aptly named DeannaDeanni—was born. By all accounts, it was their first foot in the industry's door. The next came soon after, when local designer-turned-friend Ana Abu had scouted the duo for her eponymous brand through a mutual friend. Though initially apprehensive, the then 19-year-olds soon found themselves in front of the lens for their very first modelling gig (of many to come).

All things considered, while this was a good start, translating their interest in fashion into a full-time, tangible career was a long process. "We were slowly getting into fashion [with] our own vintage store and we were doing shoots every week," begins Deanna, describing their journey into the styling game. "It was only when we realised that styling was a job that we began looking into it. Then, with a little bit of luck, we started working with musicians!"

Their first styling job was for Lunadira's Ur Cute but Boring music video. Since then, the twins have amassed more clients like the Midnight Fusic boys and the Dolla girls, in addition to being invited to design an installation for Vans earlier this year.
— Deanna and Deanni's SAGE advice To any aspiring stylist
— Deanna and Deanni's SAGE advice To any aspiring stylist
With projects rolling in, I ask the twins what their approach to each job looks like. Apparently, it's a pretty systematic process. "It's the same for everyone that I've worked with—I always start by getting to know them," Deanni explains. "The reason why I want to get to know every client that I'm working with is to understand their style better. I'll ask them what they want to try and what they'd like to wear, which helps me put together looks that they're comfortable in, but that they also look good in. Also, most of the time—especially for musicians—I'll always make sure that the outfits suit the vibes that they're going for, whether it's for their songs or music videos."
On their own style identities
"We were lucky enough to be known for our personal styles," says Deanna, on building their brands. Indeed, the twins have garnered a significant following on their social profiles, thanks to their distinctive looks.

Loyal believers in the philosophy of malas-malas style, the pair's eclectic sensibilities often manifest in unconventional silhouettes layered with striking textures and bold choices—an aesthetic that certainly resonates with their followers. However, though they are cut from the same cloth (in more ways than one), Deanni and Deanna's personal style identities aren't completely identical.
— Deanna and Deanni on
what style means to them
— Deanna and Deanni on
what style means to them
"In a way, our style is very similar, but we do bring our own twists and personalities into how we wear our clothes. Deanni is very extroverted and outgoing, whereas I'm the opposite… very quiet and sikit garang," Deanna chuckles. "My style is very messy. It's cool and boyish with lots of layering! I love a good suit and prints on prints, too."

"My style is very edgy. I like to dress up like a rockstar!" Deanni jokes. "I also love to wear colourful stuff."

Of course, curating a style identity that feels authentic takes time—and, for some, the task may even feel daunting, especially in our trend-driven social climate. To this, Deanna and Deanni's advice is simple: Stay true to your identity and stand by it.
Makeup: Stylo Definition L'Obscur Liquid Eyeliner in Eve Black; Rouge à Lèvres Lipstick in Shade 501 Constance Vermillion; Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière / All Gucci Beauty | Hair: Osis+ Extreme Hold Hairspray; Osis+ Dry Sugar Spray / All Schwarzkopf Professional
— Deanna and Deanni on the biggest lesson they've learned on their style journey
— Deanna and Deanni on the biggest lesson they've learned on their style journey
Of course, what makes the twins' style so unique is that it is so rooted in thrift culture. For context, almost every piece in Deanna and Deanni's collections is thrifted. They've amassed an impressive assortment of vintage clothes—from fabulous croc-embossed boots to one-of-a-kind patchwork skirts—and each incredible piece has come into their possession secondhand. You can't help but wonder how they've curated such a marvellous collection, and fortunately, you don't have to.

When asked for their best thrifting tips, Deanni is ready with her best advice: "First things first—go through each rack one by one. I touch all the materials, look at the colours, look at the designs, and if I see anything I like, I'll add it to my basket. I also rarely try things on as I go to save time—I wait till I've picked out all the clothes I like first. From there, if it doesn't fit me, I put it back. That's how I thrift. You also really have to take your time looking through the racks. This way, you'll always find something. I used to spend hours in JBR Bundle with Deanna—we would sweat and look crazy but we'd always find good stuff. Learning how to thrift takes time, so don't rush it!" To this, Deanna cheekily adds, "and don't overspend!"
Makeup: Stylo Definition L'Obscur Liquid Eyeliner in Eve Black; Rouge à Lèvres Lipstick in Shade 501 Constance Vermillion; Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière / All Gucci Beauty | Hair: Osis+ Extreme Hold Hairspray; Osis+ Dry Sugar Spray / All Schwarzkopf Professional
On what's next for D+D
2022 was a busy year for Deanna and Deanni, but 2023 is looking to be even more so. The twins have laid some solid groundwork for their careers, so it's onwards and upwards from here.

The first big project? Reviving their vintage shop. While the DeannaDeanni storefront is currently inactive, its namesakes are in the process of staging a comeback, complete with a new website and new merch for the shop. In addition, one may look forward to original designs from the dynamic duo this coming year, according to a hopeful and enthusiastic Deanni.

Something else to look forward to? A future collaboration between the twins and their younger brother, Haq. Indeed, it appears that the passion for fashion runs in the family, with Deanna and Deanni's youngest sibling having recently entered the fashion scene as a content creator. "It took us by surprise—we weren't expecting it but we love the content he's been making," Deanni remarks. "He's been working with a few brands already and we're so proud of him." For those who are curious, you're in luck—Deanna was quick to plug his socials: "He's on Tiktok now for his fashion content!"

As for their own hopes for the Malaysian landscape, the twins are hoping to see a big shift in the local fashion climate. "We'd like to see exploration across whatever style niche becoming more acceptable in the local fashion industry," they explain. "We've been getting really tired of the stagnation in style that we've been seeing over the last few years."

Overall, the future looks bright for Deanna and Deanni—if this is them just getting started, we can't wait to see what comes next.
On both DEANNI (L) and DEANNA (R)Jacket and pants: Kit Woo; Shoes: Behati
Editor / Sarah Hani Jamil
Text, styling & creative direction / Redzhanna Jazmin
Art direction & layout design / Sarah Tai
Assisted by / Phyllis Wu
Photography / Euri Erfe
Videography / Dennis Kho
Makeup / Kevin Lee for Gucci Beauty
Hair / VV Chan for Schwarzkopf ProfessionaL