Domestic fashion is on the rise in Malaysia. Inspired by local culture and trends, fashion entrepreneurs are paving way for their homegrown brands to become the next big thing. Infusing their own unique identity and creativity, these young upstarts are producing some high quality apparels which are on par with the international standards. As homegrown ourselves, we are excited and proud to have such trendsetting energies in the local scene. While we strongly urge everyone to support local products, here are the Top 10 Independent Local Clothing Brands which you should keep an eye on.
1. Neonate Clothing
Founded by local actor, Karl Shafek Ibrahim, Neonate Clothing was introduced to the local clothing scene in May 2014. In a short span of 6 months, Neonate has swiftly stamped a strong presence, winning over the hearts of many fashion lovers with its few bold series namely Cervidae, Pride and Honour and the recent neonateXmackahead series. Neonate’s series of collections are fashioned to be simple yet classy at the same time produced using pure 100% cotton to ensure comfort. Our top pick would be the classic Pride & Honour Tee which embraces originality and longevity. It simply does not go outdated.
Producing apparels ranging from T-shirts, long sleeves to accessories, Neonate is inspired by Karl’s desire to explore the evolution in the fashion of young people which according to him is “mysterious” but interesting. His ability to catch the changing trends, preferences and behavior of current generation is key to the good start of Neonate Clothing. It is matter of time Neonate will explode into domination.
2. CARA Apparel
CARA is a premium street wear fashion brand with simple & minimalist style. Pronounced as “Cha-Ra”, the word also represents a subliminal meaning of "Awesome", "Cool", "Great" in the local lingo. Founded by a young ambitious entrepreneur, Al'fie Dilaney, CARA offers exclusive yet simple art that is appealing for everyone since December 2013.
Less is surely more for CARA. While they focus on producing the best quality and simple apparel, they have the aspiration to become the next big thing. Currently, they remain in the apparel segment for both male & female with accessories to come soon. CARA is surely in for the win not just with their vision but also distribution strategy with purchasing of their apparel made available on website and in-house app. Yes, their own CARA App. Are you ready to #MakeitCARA?
3. Pestle & Mortar Clothing
Peslte & Mortar Clothing is no stranger to many. Established in the year 2010 by 3 close friends, Pestle & Mortar is regarded as one of the pioneers or rather the rise of the local clothing scene. From their humble beginnings at festival markets, the Pestle & Mortar brand has grown so much since. Their success has seen their brands made available in many locations including their flagship store in the heart of Telawi, Bangsar.
Pestle & Mortar Clothing isn’t just about what you wear, but also a projection of our personal lifestyles, culture and homeland. We like how Pestle & Mortar infuses local flavours and things they see at locality in their fashion. How Pestle & Mortar makes it personal for us makes Pestle & Mortar unique and well-accepted by the public. Initially started with photo print and pocket T-shirts, Pestle & Mortar with a team of 20 today has made Malaysia proud. “Ultimately, we want to show the world what Malaysia is capable of”.
Formed in 2008 by passionate Malaysian artists, Abstrax was founded on the art, design of Fahmi Fabilah and the ideas and philosophy of Dr. Faiz I. Anuar. While making sure its apparels are simple yet exclusive, affordable and embraces functional modern detail, Abstrax hopes to convey stories, create relationships, aspire and inspire the younger generation through its brand. All these elements are clearly incorporated in their products such as their latest big hit, the Abstrax x MAS #MASterpiece JERSEY. This meaningful apparel has garnered a lot of buzz among netizens around the world and become a national identity.
Abstrax started off by realizing the absence of local presentation in street wear market. This brave leap that Abstrax took to enter the rather unfamiliar market back then has turned them fruitful today. We support the spirit of Abstrax to go local and let’s together stay tuned for their next chapter, as Abstrax progresses and evolves from #Lokalah to #Globalah.
5. KOYA Clothing
KOYA is a clothing company founded in 2009 by a bunch of schoolmates who desire a different niche in the streetwear market. A niche to fuse micro-vernacular qualities in modern west oriented market. In their situation, the name of the brand. Koya is a dialect word commonly used in the Eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia (Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan) that holds various meaning yet commonly understood as a Daydreamer. However, you could always look at Koya as an acronym for: Knocked Out Youth Associate.
KOYA started by selling t-shirts at small gigs, skate comp, art events and college bazaar throughout the country. Over the years, KOYA managed to diversify its products and open a distribution store in our hometown, Kuantan, Pahang. Amongst its collections, the Knockedout Sweatshirt and Sunrise Boulevard (for women) are noteworthy. Also their apparels with “auspicious” no. 82. But that’s not all about it. Stay tuned with KOYA as they constantly seek to discover opportunities to improvise and collaborate to produce various goods for you.
6. Supercrew Clothing & Co.
Dream, Believe, Achieve. Supercrew is not only selling cool street-wears, they are conveying some bold and driven message to the public. For your information, those are Supercrew’s tagline and the 3 words ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ are featured in all their clothing designs as they hope to encourage and channel motivation to individuals to be courageous to dream, and believe that it will one day be achieved.
Somewhat an inspiring streetwear clothing brand, Supercrew was established in 2013 with their concepts largely influenced by street dancers, artists, pilots, djs, and athletes. Using black and white as their main colours with little injection of red, Supercrew’s apparels are calm and trendy embracing confidence, positivity and persistency. Check out their 01 Anniversary Collection and wear them like you are #1.
By Wolves for Wolves. Wolfgang is a high street collective and a movement for the subculture, incorporating and embedding the essence of fashion, music and street culture. The brand was founded in 2011 led by a collective of six inspiring visionaries with an aim to set a new benchmark to the Malaysian fashion and entertainment industry. It has since grown to be one of the most prominent brand names in the local street wear industry and since its inception it has gained international recognition in South East Asia and Europe.
The brand strives on exclusive, limited and quality made merchandises designed to be treasured & made to last while ensuring that all materials and manufacturer lines selected are of the utmost best standards. Leveraging on different authorized retailers to distribute its brands and products, Wolfgang has successfully paved its road as one of the most prominent names in the local street wear clothing industry and has established its name as a must have underground street wear brand.
8. Million Apparel
Originated from Johor, Million Apparel offers modern style with mix of some homegrown flare to the local clothing scene. Their apparels encompass graphic tees, sweatshirts, sweatpants, bags, caps and many more. With quality and fashion trends being their main focus, Million Apparel also caters to the young children segments. Kids can now look trendy too with the high taste for art and design of Million Apparel.
According to Million, inspiration for modern fashion has brought them into this industry while arts and surroundings have spurred creativity in their designs. Thanks to their persistency in innovation, Million is enjoying some positive growth in their home town of Kluang and beyond. One of our favourite from their series of collections would be the ‘Truce Collection’ which revolves around typography, logos and graphics. For this collection, they’ve included 3-quarter and long-sleeved raglan tees that are comfortable, casual and street, definitely suitable for both males and females.
Pioneering in personalized Fashion Tees, Idotshirt believes everyone can make a statement and prove a point with their own tees, ‘Because you need to’. Idotshirt is all about the birth of personalised t-shirts through game play. Comprises of a team of designers who find excitement in exploring art and practices meticulous crafting, Idotshirt builds variant graphic themes you can choose from, let you fill in the words of your choice and print them on the tee for you!
Our personal favourite is Idotshirt’s Number Tee which presents a touch of identity with your name, number and 5 awesome themes (Floral, Tiger, Leopard, Baroque and Stone) which you can choose to go with your number. Simply game changing as each theme represents and adds character to your very own tees. Enjoy yourself personalizing and experience creativity as you play. Have fun rockin' your tee with Idotshirt.
LEGIT is an independent apparel with its concept influences coming from the street, skate and DIY fashion needed to be filled. By the street to the street. Backed by strong aspiration, LEGIT hopes to be a surprise within the independent clothing industry with creative ideas, concepts, products and collaborations with various brands.
Check out one of their successful series, ‘HustleDept’ which is available in Tees, Sweat Shirts, and more. Incorporating a winning mentality into the collection design, ‘HustleDept’ urges the public to not only have a winning state of mind but to go also out hustle to win. Our ladies in TallyPress Team love the 'Badge' long sleeves which is also one of LEGIT’s hot sellers. Stay legit with LEGIT and follow them for more collections to come.
The least we could do to support Local Brands is by Sharing. The compilation of this list was made from the accumulation of public votes. To view the result of the Top 15, download Pollbook on App Store/Google Play. Thank you for reading.