Sixty years. That is how long Habib has been around in Malaysia as a homegrown brand synonymous with exquisite fine jewellery and quality craftsmanship.
From a small shop nestled along Penang’s famed “Jewellers Corner” on Pitt Street, to now, a fully integrated company with customers from all around the world, it has come far.
The secret to Habib’s enduring success? Probably the penchant it has for embodying the best of Malaysian creativity, innovation, craftsmanship and value. That, and the respect for its customers.
“People buy jewellery for two reasons. Adornment and investment. When it comes to investment, people want to buy something from someone they can trust,” states Datuk Sri Meer Sadik Habib, managing director of Habib Group.
“I’m very proud of my late father who founded the company. He was seen as a very trustworthy person,” he says, adding, “If you want to put your money somewhere, it will be with someone you can trust.”
Meer points out that he is also proud of Habib for being a Malaysian brand through and through. According to him, this is what sets it apart from a lot of the other local brands found here.
“You can see them trying their best to be a bit different. They try to come across as being more Western. Giving themselves a French name, for instance. This mentality has to change.”
In line with the 60th year celebration, Habib launched the Heritage Journey showcase, which features exclusive jewellery pieces drawing inspiration from Malaysia’s rich culture.
Having kicked off at The Curve, Petaling Jaya, it is now moving to IOI City Mall, Putrajaya. From Nov 24 to Dec 2, visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of some of the brand’s timeless designs.
“It’s the first time we are doing such an exhibition. Our events are usually focused on sales. But it’s a little bit different this time. We want people to pay us a visit, and just learn about our history,” comments Meer.
“I think my favourite heritage piece is the kerongsang. It’s a Peranakan design that is made to be worn with a kebaya. I love it. It really has so much history in the design.”
He favours some of the earrings made out of old-cut diamonds as well. According to him, the way the diamonds are cut back then are a little different from what is done today.
“When we look at the heritage pieces, we realise that there are two things that are important to us. Creativity and timelessness. Anything we put out there must be special and unique.”
As it is, Habib is not one to forget its heritage. Its first store in Penang still stands today. The double-storey shop – which features Jawi Peranakan interior and architectural designs – is a tribute to the founder himself.
“It’s a very nostalgic feeling. We come from Penang, it’s our birthplace. To me, it’s a location with a lot of character. So thinking about it brings about a feeling of pride,” says Meer.
“My father was a man with unconventional ideas who served as a testament that anything was achievable through hard work and determination. Habib, which he started from zero, has evolved into much more.”
The diamond jubilee celebration is also marked with the launch of a new jewellery collection. It comprises designs that are inspired by the heritage pieces, but with modern updates.
Aside from the heritage showcase, Habib is also offering fabulous and exclusive promotions. This will run throughout its 60th anniversary campaign to mark the illustrious occasion.
“We are very, very Malaysian. I would say that the take-home message of our showcase is to be proud of our Malaysian heritage and be proud of Malaysia,” concludes Meer.