Teaming up for Raya attire

Fashion passion: Tom (right) with her assistant amid designs and materials for the less privileged.

PETALING JAYA: Two top fashion designers are teaming up with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) to put a smile on the faces of underprivileged children with custom-made clothes for this Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

The project “Duit raya for baju raya”, organised by the Malaysian Red Crescent Society in collaboration with fashion designers Tom Abang Saufi and Melinda Looi, will create an exclusive designer collection at RM50 per child.

Tom jumped at the opportunity as she feels it is something she does best.

“Making children wear something colourful in beautiful designs would create positive energy. What more can be fulfilling than to lift their spirits with colours and motifs?

“Too many things are grey and black in life for the underprivileged. I want to provide original motifs in good material, ” said Tom.

Although some of her collections can be worth thousands, she wants to give the same quality to underprivileged children.

“For us who can afford, we take baju raya for granted. What I will design will be equivalent to my collection. I use a lot of heritage motifs in my designs and vibrant colours.

“For the girls, I intend to create baju-Pahang baju kurung, whereas for the boys it will be two-pocketed baju Melayu, with the samping in the same motif as the sarong of the girls.

“I will ensure sizes are wearable as children grow and it can fit a few sizes. Children nowadays like baggy things, anyway.

“We do not have much time, but if we can put a smile on one child, then this would be the best thing for us this Ramadan, ” said Tom.

For Looi, this project is special as it involves children.

“I will create a comfortable baju raya that will allow the kids to move around. It will be a mix and match material in the signature style of ‘Melinda Looi ready-to-wear’.

“My hope is that these clothes would make the underprivileged children smile, ” she said.

MRCS national executive board member Suhana Sidik said the idea came about while distributing bakul Ramadan (goodie bags) to underprivileged families.

“At first, all I wanted was a set of new clothes for the children as I realised B40 families would not be able to afford new clothes.

“Then, MRCS consultant Datuk Hartini Zainuddin approached fashion designers Tom and Looi to be on board – and the project took on a whole new level, ” said Suhana.

The project targets the Klang Valley and nearby states for now, but if the fund collects more, then it will be spread further.

Hartini, who works with underprivileged children, is aiming for 1,000 underprivileged children to be able to have a new set of specially designed clothes this Hari Raya.

As at press time, they have been able to collect enough for 500 sets of baju raya.

Donations can be made via bank transfer to MRCS CIMB Account No: 8001581667 marked Baju Raya for Ramadhan. Official tax exemption receipts will be issued for all contributions towards this appeal.

Email your donation receipt and queries to for further information.

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Salam Ramadan


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