Malaysian sisters challenging beauty ideals with their bridalwear


Sisters Tati (left) and Farah Hani want brides to be their own inspiration on their wedding day. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

Beauty comes in all forms, shapes and sizes – that is the notion that Malaysian sisters Farah and Tati Hani are trying to highlight in their bridal label Hani Mokhta.

The two Kuala Lumpur-born designers are offering modern women bespoke bridal wear that celebrates diversity. They believe each individual has a unique story to tell, one that is wholly her own.

Hani Mokhta’s debut fashion campaign highlights “real” women, including body-positivity activist Jazzmine King, and twin sisters Su and Myn Low, who were born without the ability to grow body hair.

“Our goal is to show women that they can be their own inspiration on their wedding day, regardless of how their body looks like, regardless of their weight or size,” explains Farah, 25.

“It’s just a body-positive bridal campaign – that’s it. And everyone’s included. If you feel like you can relate, then you’re also already part of the community we are hoping to create,” adds 27-year-old Tati.

The duo says that it is about pushing the norms and breaking down barriers. They think it is important to embrace, respect and appreciate diversity and make conversations reflect that.

“All the women who participate in our campaigns are empowered and exhibit real beauty that will hopefully help women everywhere feel a little more liberated and confident,” states Farah.

Hani Mokhta
The label's first campaign celebrates diversity by highlighting "real" women.

For the sisters, Hani Mokhta is all about establishing their name in the industry as the brand with a woman-centered design aesthetic. They are drawing from their years of experience in the fashion industry dating back to their teenage days.

A diploma holder in fashion design and technology from PJ College of Art & Design, Farah has worked with Malaysian designer labels such as Alia Bastamam and Mimpikita, as well as Hawthorne & Heaney in London.

Tati, on the other hand, graduated from Raffles Design Institute with an advanced diploma in fashion marketing and went on to work with Louis Vuitton, before joining her sister at Mimpikita.

Prior to completing their respective fashion studies, the two of them embarked on their first business endeavour together with the establishment of Winkstick – a curated clothing and accessories brand for young women.

Winkstick started off as an online blogshop and both Farah and Tati spent many weekends over its five year run selling their many curated collections at weekend bazaars.

The Joy Of Fashion Design

On the decision to start their own bridal label, Tati says it was because she noticed that something was missing from the market. She also could not find anything to fit her need.

“I know this is going to sound like every bridal designer’s story – ‘Oh, I got married and then decided there was something missing from the market’, but what was available really didn’t reflect I wanted.”

According to Farah, their end goal has and always will be to make people’s dreams come true. She thinks it is such a gorgeous job to have: to make people so happy on their big day.

“I want to challenge brides to take it one step further; don’t be afraid to bust out that lace blouse from your wedding day and wear it again over ripped jeans for date night. Our brides understands that being cool can also be classic.”

Farah and Hani were both recipients of the Star Education Fund, which opened up the opportunity for them to pursue their dreams in studying fashion and eventually, founding their own label.

Hani Mokhta
Designs that do away with stiff-skirted formality and celebrate a chic ease.

“We were fortunate in that we’ve worked together previously and shared an office. Now we’re always bouncing ideas off of each other. Being related to one another was in itself a solid foundation,” notes Tati.

“As sisters, we have a very similar mindset and ethics when it comes to decisions. I think I’m pretty lucky to work with my sister. It does have its crazy moments though – there have been some pretty interesting fights across the studio!”

Farah adds: “Happiness is essential to us, which is why we choose to create an opportunity for us to do the work we love, while at the same time help make a bride’s dream come true.

“I was always obsessed with fashion. I don’t think that fashion is something people encourage in schools, but I really think they should – it’s all about personal expression”.

Each bridalwear placed in the Hani Mokhta boutique is handmade to order at its Mont Kiara-based studio in Kuala Lumpur. Visit hanimokhta.com for more information.

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