KOTA KINABALU: A little-known Sabahan clothing designer and part-time pageant organiser stamped his mark at the International Borneo Festival clothing design competition in London recently.
Shariff Amang, from Beluran, Sabah, won second prize in the competition, which is aimed at promoting the colours of Sabah and Sarawak.
The 31-year-old bachelor, who is commonly known as Hardi Roman, said he had been designing attire for local models and pageant contestants for quite some time, but had never dared to join a competition.
"This time, I told myself I had to get out of my comfort zone and give it a try. Winning or not is another matter because what is important is to have a new experience," he said.
The competition for Sabah and Sarawak designers received dozens of entries and Hardi was named the winner for the Sabah Edition, and made it to the finals with an all-expenses-paid trip to London on Nov 30.
He said the concept was to design ready-to-wear (clothes) using patterns and colours from Sabahan or Sarawakian ethnic cultures.
"I chose the Pua Kumbu (from Sarawak) design to work on," Hardi said.
Pua Kumbu is a patterned multicoloured ceremonial cloth used by Sarawak's Iban people.
Special fabric-weaving techniques showcase the Pua Kumbu design in Hardi's semi-casual style attires for men and women.
Over the past two years, Hardi had also designed clothing for male pageant contestants.
This included designing traditional costumes for Mr Working Men International Malaysia and Borneo 2019, formal wear for Mister Working Men International Borneo 2019, fashion show designs representing Malaysia, Brand Ambassador Grand Asia Africa Residence 2019 at Bandung Indonesia, formal wear for Mister Teen International Malaysia 2019 and formal wear for Mister United Asia Malaysia 2018.
Hardi was also recently named The Best National Director of the Year 2019 for his outstanding work in promoting Malaysia and Thailand at the Indarjak International Award in Bangkok, Thailand.