Footsteps… shoe designers… pun intended.
The fashion industry has been growing and improving these past years with the rise of talented local designers. Besides clothing, more and more designers have been branching out into the art of footwear.
With the help of social media and multi-label commerce websites, brands have been given a platform to connect to consumers and showcase their designs.
Here are 7 Malaysian shoe designers to watch out for:
1. Christy Ng
Christy Ng, the founder and CEO of Christy Ng Shoes – an online footwear company that specializes in handmade bespoke shoes, wedding shoes, high heels and more. She was once a part-time shoe designer while working full-time at a pharmaceutical company in 2010. She displayed her first designs on a Facebook page she set up back in 2012 and was the 2013 winner of the inaugural Alliance Bank Bizsmart SME Innovation Challenge.
A 3D “Design Your Own” engine on the website was introduced and it allows potential customers to swap colours, sizes, fabrics and more things to customize and visualize their dream pair!
Despite a global hit, Christy Ng Shoes designs and produces their products in Malaysia! Currently, they have physical stores located in One Utama, MyTown Cheras, Aeon Tebrau in Johor, as well as their e-store at www.christyng.com
2. Nelissa Hilman
Nelissa Hilman established her namesake footwear label back in 2012 and it has grown tremendously since then. She designs shoes that celebrate women and emphasizes on updated-classic designs with that has a sense of youthfulness, without compromising on the comfort and craftsmanship.
Each pair is made with sustainable materials, practicing positive social and environmental practices. The brand is especially popular among working professionals. Despite of the magnitude of growth it has experienced, and collaboration with several big names in the fashion industry, Nelissa Hilman offers hands-on and add-on services for their customers, like restoration work and repairs.
Nelissa Hilman can be found in Bangsar Village, Isetan KLCC, Fashion Valet, Zalora and on www.nelissahilman.com
3. Michelle Soo – Kiss and Tell
Kiss and Tell is an online fashion store established back in 2008 and was then converted to an e-commerce site 4 years later. Michelle Soo, the founder of the brand started selling clothing and shoes as a hobby back in the blogspot days to pass the time and fund her college fees. She then decided to design her own shoes as it was super hard for her to find size 3 shoes in the market. Kiss and Tell does not only offer shoes, but apparel and accessories as well!
Kiss and Tell can be found in Atria Shopping Gallery, Parkson Pavillion, Isetan KLCC, Palloe Boutique Kota Damansara and Penang, Fashion Valet and www.kissandtell.com.my
4. Yokie and Yoke Sin Theam – Yoke and Theam
Founded by sisters, Yokie and Yoke Sin Theam, Yoke and Theam was inspired by their grandfather, who was a cobbler. All set with a background in the shoe business, the sisters decided to start their own collection together. They handled everything, from designing to the marketing of the brand; travelling back and forth from KL and their family’s factory in Ipoh.
Yoke and Theam plays with colours and textures and features chunky, fierce-looking sandals and platforms. They use rubber for their shoes as it is more durable and sturdy. Their collections feature both masculine as well as feminine elements, making them very unique and different.
Yoke and Theam is available in Isetan KLCC, Robinsons @ The Gardens, Fashion Valet, Zalora and https://www.yokentheam.com/
5. Rhea and Benson – Rhea Benson
Rhea and Benson, the founders and designers of Rhea Benson, founded the brand back in 2011, after winning Grand Prize in the Malaysian Footwear Design Competition in the previous year. The brand has a very luxurious feel to it, using fine quality wood, exotic skins as well as bright colours with a minimal silhouette that represents a modern lifestyle.
Get Rhea Benson on www.facebook.com/rheabensonofficial
6. Intan Khalid and Fauzana Sidek – Merrack & Co.
Managed by NURHIDHAS by Hidayah Hassan, Merrack Co is founded by Intan Khalid and designed by Fauzana Sidek, who loves to travel and therefore needed a footwear tailored to that specific need. Merrack and Co. offers espadrilles that are both fashionable and comfortable, perfect for travelling!
They’re made of a light fabric upper, great for breathability and won’t take up a lot of space in your luggage!
Get Merrack & Co. at http://merrack.com and Isetan KLCC
7. Zul Mohd – Emmett
Bright, bold and beautiful- that’s how you describe Emmett’s designs. Mohd Faizol, better known as Zul Mohd, started off as a wedding and fashion consultant before becoming a shoe designer. Emmett was established in 2010 when he was inspired to design handmade shoes. The name “Emmett” was inspired by the character of the same name in the movie, Twilight. He states that that by putting a platform to his heels, it acts as a cushion for the feet and therefore, are comfortable.
Emmett was slowly introduced to the international scene by Zul Mohd’s agent in the US. In 2013, CSI actress Lauren Mayhew wore his shoes to the Grammys as well as the runner up of America’s Next Top Model season 19, Kiara Belen; resulting in his big break. His shoes have been featured in magazines like Runway, Vogue Italia and Cosmopolitan.
Get Emmett at https://emmettshoes.wixsite.com
Support local designers and check out these beautifully made shoes! Tell us, what do you think of the local fashion industry?