KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians in the fashion industry can learn a lot from Italy, said Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood.
Endon, who is patron of the Malaysia Batik: Crafted for the World movement and Yayasan Budi Penyayang chairman said one area which Malaysians could learn about was how the Italian fashion industry gets support from various quarters.
The support machinery is impressive, said Endon in her speech at An Italian Affair: Batik Expressions fashion show held in conjunction with the exhibition at the National Art Gallery here yesterday.
The show included several batik designs by local and Italian designers.
Endon, who is wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said Malaysian designers were now producing international quality products and should emulate the Italians in their marketing prowess.
That Malaysia's batik should be part of tonight's creations by Italian designers is indeed an honour.
I hope this is just the beginning of such liaisons and the Italian fashion and Malaysian batik industries will in future forge an alliance that may spark the use of batik the world over.
She said Malaysian batik producers and designers would visit Italy soon.
She hoped they would have the opportunity to meet designers and entrepreneurs there who could take Malaysian batik into the European market.
Earlier in his speech, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said the Malaysian batik industry had expanded in recent years.
Two years ago, the batik industry earned RM350mil but we expect the figure to be RM470mil this year, he said.
During the event, Yayasan Budi Penyayang donated RM444,000 to tsunami victims.
The sponsors of the event were Eau Claire, Malaysia Airlines, Nikko Hotel, Astro, The Star and Stila Cosmetics.
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