THE time to export is now. Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) chief executive officer and Malaysia Fashion Week chairman Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said this during the launch of Intrade 2016 and Malaysia Fashion Week (MFW).
The anticipated trade exhibition, organised by Matrade and Stylo International, is set to take place from Nov 2 to 5 at Menara Matrade, Kuala Lumpur.
It will house local and international players in the fashion and lifestyle industries, and become a catalyst for marketing and B2B activities that will spur greater trade opportunities.
Dzulkifli pointed out the country’s export of lifestyle products last year saw a 12% rise, reaching RM31.36bil, compared with RM28bil in 2014.
“The trade event alone recorded RM126.52mil in sales transaction, a 40% increase from 2014, and also saw 1,541 business matchings between local companies and international buyers,” he said.
Noting the event’s potential in creating sustainable and profitable business partnerships, Dzulkifli urges more local players to grasp the opportunity to become an exhibitor at the event, which is now officially open for registration.
“As a growing fashion trade hub, the event will connect trade buyers, exhibitors and designers from around the region and the rest of the world to source for and showcase their latest trends,” he said.
The exhibition is open to local companies across the clusters of fashion, apparel and accessories, beauty, hair and cosmetics, jewellery, arts and handicraft, lifestyle and interior as well as textile and peripherals.
With MFW, the event looks to elevate Malaysia’s status as a major fashion hub in Asean and beyond.
“The Malaysian fashion industry has a lot to offer to the world but we need a strong strategy to ensure Malaysia gets noticed,” said Dzulkifli.
He said the strategic public-private collaboration between Matrade and Stylo International is crucial to push this sector, and to develop a strong foothold in the international scene.
Integrating luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, the MFW 2016 will also feature the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week to highlight the trade fashion event.
To propel MFW in the global arena, Stylo International president and MFW 2016 co-chairman Datuk Nancy Yeoh said activities would be done in other countries.
“Last year, we managed to launch Malaysian designers’ collections in Paris. This year, in addition to Paris, we’re planning something big in London,” said Yeoh.
She also noted that MFW had a track record in opening doors for local young talents, citing examples such as Yii, the Malaysian fashion designer who now has a presence in London and Motogoa, which recently signed on with the LVMH group.
Yeoh said another key component of the fashion would be the Modestyle (read as Modest-yle) Muslimah fashion, which brings together Muslimwear designers from Malaysia and across the world.
Modestyle will have a dedicated fashion pavilion at the exhibition.
Besides revisiting Modestyle, Intrade featuring MFW will also continue the Inclusivity theme that emphasises Malaysia’s diverse cultures.
“The design elements derived from the many cultures in Malaysia can be a strong selling point for local companies as foreign buyers will be on the lookout for the next unique thing to capitalise on. That’s why we are reinforcing this message to our stakeholders,” Dzulkifli highlighted.
He added that the event targeted to fill 300 exhibition booths over a space of more than 10,000sqm.
Last year, he noted the event attracted more than 200 fashion buyers from countries such as China, South Korea, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, along with visitors from more than 50 countries.
The launch also saw the presence of MFW 2016 honorary adviser Datuk Jimmy Choo.
Registration and exhibition details can be found at www.malaysiafashionweek.my
The closing application date is Aug 31.