Call to buy Bruneian products

Izah Azahari

As a governing body, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) looks forward to supporting the Fashion Designers Alliance through a Fashion Designers Council in the Sultanate, emphasising the need to create a fashion ecosystem to aid in diversifying the country’s creative economy.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin as the guest of honour said this during the recent Fashion Designers Alliance Showcase at Karya Kitani Boutique in Jerudong.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Cultural) at the MCYS Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah, Assistant Director of the Youth Development Centre (PPB) and President of Malam Minggu Pusat Belia (MMPB) Hajah Noor Monasaliena @ Suzie binti Haji Mohd Salleh also attended.

The showcase highlighted the hard work and creativity of local fashion designers with a display that varied from women’s wear to traditional men’s wear from Naforrer, Mahkota Design, XOIA, Chantique, Little Dayang, Tapih Rancung, Rebels and Queens, Paperplane,
and TheaSeera.

The newly formed alliance brought together individuals from various backgrounds, achievements and specialties as part of efforts to unify and develop the fashion industry in
Brunei Darussalam.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the Fashion Designers Alliance Showcase. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI

Collectively, members of the alliance won the Islamic Designs and Fashion Council Award in Dubai, participated in international fashion shows abroad, featured in British Vogue, while some designers will participate in the upcoming ASPARA Fashion Week via a virtual
fashion show.

In her welcoming remarks, Fashion Designers Alliance representative Farhanna Pura shared that the decision to form the alliance was to show that a need for a common bond between designers in Brunei Darussalam and to grow collectively to be marketable in the niches that they are in, both within and outside of Brunei.

“Fashion designers in the country often experience difficulties starting, most starting from zero with barely any help at all,” she said. “The hardships and difficulties commonly felt by each one called for the need to create a platform to help one another and create a
healthy competition.”

The head representative further highlighted that fashion is one of the biggest industries in the world and is an ecosystem of its own – from designers that do fashion and textile, jewellery, shoes and handbags, down to the manufacturers, suppliers, photographers, make-up artists, models and agencies, trend analysts, influencers and bloggers among others.

“These are skills that can be developed to enhance and support not only the Bruneian fashion scene, but in turn the economy,” Farhanna said.

Farhanna emphasised it is the alliance’s vision to nurture a creative, sustainable and competitive ecosystem for Bruneian fashion designers to flourish locally
and internationally. “It is high time that the country creates jobs based on this industry as well as not being overly dependent on imports. Start buying Bruneian products by Bruneians.

It is hoped that this vision can be shared by the MCYS in developing the youth into a vast market that is untapped,” said Farhanna.

The event also saw a speech by Karya Kitani Founder Muhammad Shahrul Azri bin Ramlan, along with the signing of the Fashion Designers Alliance plaque by the guest of honour and a souvenir presentation to the minister by the alliance’s representatives.