WHILE they may be trendy Wendys and Stylo Joes, many private college students are not familiar with local designers like Sarimah Adzrina, Beatrice Looi, Justin Oh and a few others whose collections will be showcased at the upcoming KL Fashion Week 2003.
Apart from students of fashion academies, such as Carven Fashion School, the Victoria Academy of Fashion and the SML Academy of Fashion, a good majority of students have not heard of local designers, apart from the likes of Zang Toi and Bernard Chandran.
“I think most of us are quite familiar with Bernard Chandran because his designs are very contemporary yet very suited to people our age as well,” said Shoba Manoharan, 18, a student of Metropolitan College in Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Shoba, who is taking the University Foundation Programme (UFP) course, said brand names do matter when it comes to trendy attire, and students go for international brands like Nike, Polo, Guess? and Esprit.
“As college students, when you are wearing something branded you will always be noticed, “ said Azizah Mohamad Ghani, 21, who studies Accounting & Finance at the college.
UFP student Hema Subramaniam,19, business student Michelle Teng Phaik Yi, 20, and Accounting & Finance students Rathnadevi Balakrishnan, 22, Tan Siew Lee, 20, and Teo Yeling, 20, are all were aware of the upcoming KL Fashion Week due to daily updates in The Star and on radio.
Yeling said students don’t buy local designer items and clothing because they are expensive.
“We don't usually following changing fashion trends, but we keep ourselves updated by flipping through fashion magazines,” said Yeling, adding that she and her peers spend RM200 to RM300 on clothing per outing.
Metropolitan College has bought two tables worth RM15,000 each at the Style & Sensuality fashion gala dinner and a table for RM3,000 at the Secretaries Unplugged! luncheon. Both events will take place on April 23 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the proceeds will go to Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
“When were first learnt that The Star was organising the fashion week, we started comparing it to other fashion events worldwide, such as the Milan and Poznan fashion fair events, where both local and international talents were showcased,” said the college’s managing director Datuk Macland Tan.
He said that it was especially important that the students were given the chance to showcase their talents at the Star Designer Awards student fashion contest.
The Star Designer Awards presentation ceremony will be the last event held under the KL Fashion Week banner. The finals, to be held on April 27 at Mid Valley Megamall, will see 10 finalists present their works in public before a panel of judges, including Bill Keith, Rizalman, Melinda Looi and Edmund Ser.
While Metropolitan College is “purely a business school”, Tan said there's a possibility the institution might in future extend its range of courses to include fashion, art and design.
“We do in fact already have a separate education centre specialising in those fields of study – the PJ College of Art, which falls under the same group of companies. Indeed there is a possibility there to venture into more artistic fields of study,” Tan said.