● Orson Liyu – Founder, AFDS (Malaysia)
- Orson Liyu is hailed as one of Malaysia’s top icon in the fashion industry. His talents are many, namely model, make-up artist, hair and wardrobe stylist, head piece designer and fashion designer.
- Orson’s journey into the fashion industry began as a model at a tender age of 14 and since then, he has risen to be one of the most sought after male models in the nation. Beside modelling, Orson continues to climb the fashion ladder by garnering accolades from the hair, make-up, image styling for local & international tvc, fashion magazines and the music industry.
- His biggest achievement so far is the award for one of the top four creative make-up artists of 1999 by Yves St. Laurent, awarded by Moèt & Chandon, in recognition of his contribution towards the Malaysian Fashion Industry as a Malaysian Designer in 2001. Head piece/Accessories Designer for Swarovski Spring/Summer 2003 exhibition show in Malaysia, recently appointed as Main Designer for L’Oréal International hair fashion night gala 2016 in Pavilion Malaysia.
- A self-trained designer, Orson has demonstrated his versatility ranging from Pret-a-porter, after five, evening wear, bridal gown and haute couture.
- Orson is an esteem pioneer member and fashion ambassador of the ASEAN Fashion Designer Showcase representing Malaysia.
● Micheal Ooi
- The Penang-born designer graduated in 2015 from the Equator College Penang with a Diploma in Fashion Design Technology. Having a passion for fashion designing at a young age, Micheal aimed to score 10As in SPM examination, enabling him to get a can full scholarship to study fashion. He graduated with both the Best Student award and Best Fashion Design Technology Student award that year.
- Upon graduation. Micheal started his homebased business – Micheal Ooi Made-To-Measure and MOFactory.
- While MOfactory offers a wide range of trend-setting ready-to-wear, Micheal Ooi Made-To-Measure specialises in customisation of gowns for brides to be.
- High-end fabrics, bold and fresh manipulations, constant and meticulous research go hand in hand with his ambition and will to create something new and modern.
- Micheal combines love for aesthetic with functionality, mixing fashion design with his industrial design background, collaborating with artists outside or within the fashion world, in order to create a revisited a modern, sophisticated and clean ideology.
- Come 1st January 2018, Micheal Ooi will open his atelier at Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
- Micheal is an esteem member and fashion ambassador of the ASEAN Fashion Designer Showcase representing Malaysia.
● Ranong Peru
- An ethnic Lun Bawang, Nur Rahmah Ranong Abdullah grew up in a close-knit community in the mountainous village of Ba’Kalalan in Sarawak. A small tribal community by most standards, it was one that fostered a strong sense of family bonding and, as it happens, artistic flair.
- Known to her friends and family simply as Ranong Peru, the industrious artisan grew up watching her mother beading her ethnic headgear and traditional costumes at the end of a long day working in the paddy field.
- “I came from a rural community and grew up with a family background of hard toil,” shares Ranong.
- “I never knew then that I had the capacity for handicrafts in my motor skills, but it became a more dominant trait after I left my career in the hospitality industry.”
- While accompanying her husband on an overseas posting to Jakarta, Ranong earned her certification in Spa Management from Mustika Ratu Indonesia.
- It was later, during similar travels to Cape Town in South Africa, that she would truly discover the uplifting potential of arts and crafts.
- “In Cape Town, I networked and developed a very close relationship with the motherly ‘Big Black Mamas’ – as they’re fondly called for their cheerfulness and hospitality – and we’d gather together to knit.
- “The cost of knitting yarns was relatively cheaper there and the choices of types and colours were in abundance! I realised that being in a conducive environment like this and surrounded by friendly people helped me to express my creativity.”
One after another came hand-knitted bedspreads, cushion covers, table placemats and crocheted baby apparel from this fortuitous stay in Cape Town.
- Upon her return to Sarawak in late 2009, Ranong’s third daughter gifted her mother with the creation of a simple blog. It wasn’t long before Ranong began uploading photos of her kitschy creations online – a compilation of baby and toddlers’ clothes, mittens and other adorable crocheted items.
- “My passion then grew into a commercial commitment when I received my very first online order from Mexico for an adult knitted shawl through this same blog!” says Ranong.
- With the conception of her proprietorship, Nadinmas Enterprise in 2010 came the start of Ran & Nong Creations, a brand that would first focus on equipping more artisans from her homeland in Sarawak and second, showcase Ranong’s artistic wares to the world.
- “I’m aware that womenfolk need to be self-reliant, economically independent and financially stable to face the challenges of today’s social environment, be they from the rural or urban communities,” she says.
- “That’s why my focus is very much towards empowering women – particularly single mothers and underprivileged women – nevertheless, there are already intakes of male artisans and craftsmen participating in my Skills Training Courses!”
- Ranong is an esteem member and fashion ambassador of the ASEAN Fashion Designer Showcase representing Malaysia.
● Fion Poon
- Inspired by her mentor Dato’ Professor Jimmy Choo, Fion Poon is making great efforts promoting a heritage into the fashion scene. She studied under Choo for eight years and has now started two lines of shoes and handbags made from batik and songket, traditional art and wear in Malaysia.
- Fion’s aim has been specially to make Malaysians proud, and in the process, she has made the international community raise their eyebrows at the potential of such Malaysian designers.
- “To continue learning and to remain inspired are the most important aspects of a designer’s life. The journey has been challenging but it is satisfying. 26 years as a designer, has taught me a great deal and continue to teach me as I go about my passion.”
- Unique in her signature style, she aspires to make Malaysia proud.
- Fion is an esteem member and fashion ambassador of the ASEAN Fashion Designer Showcase representing Malaysia.