On the lookout for cool, out of the ordinary souvenirs for friends, family or yourself? Check out this rundown of some of Malaysia’s choicest finds, mama!
Not feeling another keychain? That’s okay. Malaysia has many homegrown designers and brands to give both locals and tourists a taste of Malaysia, Truly Asia (ha). When you’re shopping around for keepsakes, whether for guests or yourself, check out these five brands for a fun assortment of pretty little things.
The Straits Finery creates beautiful minimalist jewellery that stand out as essentials. They’re the pieces that become so synonymous with a person’s aesthetic that you feel as though they were created just for you. Each piece is handmade in small quantities using precious metals by skilled artisans. How’s that for a present?
Fun fact: Founders Amira and Chern met in school in Penang!
When in Malaysia, one shops for the ancient fabric art-form known as Batik. Every bit beautiful as it sounds, these textiles are outlined with wax before being dyed to create unique designs. FERN nods towards the ancient art form whilst creating a “New Batik”: a line of ready-to-wear pieces handcrafted by in-house artisans that are more comfortable than you can even imagine.
Fun fact: Founder Fern Chua was the winner of Fashion Pitch 2013 by MyCreative Ventures in Malaysia.
Working alongside artisans in Sarawak, this social enterprise creates contemporary design pieces using traditional weaving techniques. These creations look gorgeous in homes with pops of colour and an exotic feel, paying homage to the history and stories behind the Sarawakian culture. Only natural materials like rattan, bamboo and bimban collected from the jungles of Borneo are used.
Fun fact: The traditional plaited crafts of Sarawak have been practised for thousands of years, passed down through generations of women.
The agency represents a number of local authors, illustrators and publishers, creating a space to shop around for fiction and children’s book that are uniquely Malaysian. The country is such a melting pot, and this translates eloquently into these detailed illustrations and stories.
Fun fact: Yusof Gajah himself a renowned artist and award-winning children’s book writer and illustrator who mentors young illustrators and conducts workshops for children and adults.
And lastly, how can you resist a new outfit designed by one of Malaysia’s leading fashion designers? Alia B.’s ready-to-wear pieces are classic, timeless, and very elegant, and can be found at Isetan KLCC, Fashion Valet and Shoes, Shoes, Shoes stores. Or if you want something really bespoke, you can drop by the studio by appointment only for a one-on-one sesh with the Creative Director.
Fun fact: Alia started off her designs with bridal orders, and still does the occasional gown her line Alia Bastamam if you happen to have a big day coming up…
Hit the road, mamas!