NEW YORK: To stay competitive and to also create "product synergies", Malaysia's fashion Icon Zang Toi (pic) is looking at other product lines that will complement his mainstream fashion business.
After the successful launch of a shoe business in Malaysia, Zang Toi, often referred to as "Malaysia's best known face" in the United States, has been looking to add products and services that will go well with his mainstream high-fashion business for which he has built an exclusive clientele.
"I am entering into a partnership with a papyrus paper and greeting card company to launch a series of greeting cards and note cards.
"The launch is set for autumn 2016. The cards will have the Zang Toi designs inspired by my fashion and lifestyle," Toi said in an interview with Bernama at his office on Sunday.
The greeting cards and note cards will reflect everything Zang Toi stands for in the fashion world - from his early designer years to his most recent collections, with some cards having motifs inspired by the style of his exquisitely-designed apartment.
Toi revealed that many of the cards would be embellished with fabrics, jewels and feathers. His large fan base says that combining papyrus quality card construction with Zang's designs will certainly be as "special and unique as Zang's apparel".
Zang Toi will hold a special runway show of his 2016 spring fashion creations on Sept 11 in New York, which will be followed by a similar show at the Tampa Art Museum in Tampa, Florida on Sept 19. "This is a good venue because of its cultural and historical significance," he said.
However, the high point of his series of presentations will be his involvement in a charity event organised by Saudi Princess Reema Al Saud who is active in supporting charitable causes.
Toi has been designing special fashion wear for this family since 1996. His creations will end up at the Fashion Week Middle East to be held in Dubai in November this year.
Princess Reema founded Alf Khair, a social organisation, whose vision is to embrace the infinite opportunities in Saudi Arabia, celebrate productivity and promote creativity, hard work and contemporary designs to build a generation of responsible, mindful and innovative Arabian talents.
Alf Khair's first of its awareness-creating and education activities is working for the benefit of the Zahra Breast Cancer Association.
Kelantan-born Toi, whose creations have been appreciated by Hollywood stars and other prominent personalities such as Sharon Stone, Gong Li, Eva Longoria, Heather Graham, Ivana Trump, Melinda Gates and the late Farrah Fawcett, has captured the attention of the fashion world with his precocious aptitude and business acumen.
Indeed, Kirstie Alley, a Hollywood star and a friend of Toi, has done a catwalk some years ago during the New York Fashion Week held at New York's Lincoln Center, wearing a stunning blue gown created by Toi, which received rave notices from fashion critics.
Given the economic uncertainties caused by the chaotic stock market conditions in China, consumers in the United States have become cautious, with purchases slowing down as a result.
However, this general trend applies mainly to the general consumers of low and medium-end products.
"Since my creations are big-ticket items and I cater exclusively to the top one percent of society who want exclusive products, I am not yet affected by the uncertainties in the market.
“Nevertheless, there is a feeling of unease among all the companies, including those which cater to such an exclusive top clientele as I do," Toi admitted.
Asked to comment on the fashion trends in the US market and the preferences of his customers in terms of designs and colours, Toi replied that the trends were diverse.
"There is no single trend that can be identified. But one clear trend among all designers is to make women look beautiful and elegant in the dresses they wear," he said. - Bernama
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