For as long as we remember, Nerdunit has been The Godfather of streetwear fashion in Malaysia. What started off as an online fashion brand back in the days has established its brick and mortar flagship stores within and beyond Malaysia shores. As we look at the dawn of launch of their Mindf*cked Generation Fall Winter 2018 collection and their first ever UK Flagship Store in London in the pipeline, we have the founder of Nerdunit, Ronald Chew on Sevenpie’s Featured Interview today to share his experience growing his brand to where it is today!
1. Hi Ronald! Can you please tell us more about yourself?
Sup guys. My name is Ronald Chew born and raised in Malaysia. Also the founder of Nerdunit.
2. What inspired you to start Nerdunit?
I was already into street fashion when I was doing my masters in San Francisco, and there were a few brands that I really liked. But they were mostly heavy on skate culture and I was looking for something more. That’s when i decided to create my own brand, something that i would want to wear everyday.
3. Please share with our readers about your journey to make Nerdunit as one of the most renowned street wear labels in Malaysia.
Encouraged by a few friends I started experimenting on some designs, printed a few tees and sold them to my friends. Fortunately, orders caught up with supply and soon enough, I’ve decided to pursue this full time. The first year was tough because I had to do everything myself from designing to production to packing orders, customer service and manag ing finances…It was tough. But I also had the best times building a business with a small team we were like family. All the hard work, long working hours and determination was worth it but the journey is still not over.
4. With the introduction of e-commerce, many international labels are reviewing their overhead costs by reducing their brick-and-mortar stores but on the contrary, Nerdunit is growing its flagship stores in more locations. What is the push behind this decision?
Clothing items are just so much better in real life. Most consumers want to try on or touch the merchandise before they purchase especially when the price range is higher than average. Also buying online, can’t beat our in-store experience. Have you seen our store? It’s dope!
Nerdunit’s Future Store in Harajuku, Tokyo Nerdunit’s Experience Store in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
5. You’re done various collaboration in the past, from “Ain’t no plain Jane” to the most recent collaboration with Pestle x Mortar. Are there any other local brands or personalities which you’re looking to collaborate moving forward, and why?
We are open to any opportunities, especially when it comes to supporting local brands.
6. How would you like to address the ongoing debate among people who prefers commercialized international labels with similar price points as Nerdunit?
We take pride in our company culture that emphasizes on creating and innovating in every way possible. Being consistent and staying true to our brand image while keeping up to date on the latest trend is not an easy task, but thankfully, we managed to achieve just that. Nerdunit also is not afraid to do things out of the norm, we never run the risk of being seen as “boring” or “just another brand.”
7. If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing before the birth of Nerdunit back in 2011, what would it be?
Honestly… I’ve done so many regrettable things, specially in my teenage days but Nerdunit is not one of it. If there is one thing I would tell my past self is to stop doubting myself.
8. What are the highlights and lowlights of being a fashion entrepreneur in Malaysia?
Working in fashion industry is is inspiring, being able to build a brand that people actually appreciate is a whole different feeling. Instead of being a cog in the wheel for a giant, hierarchical corporation, I am able to see mine and my team’s ideas take form and actually make a difference. One of the lowlights probably has to be the unpredictable work schedule and long hours, not that I’m complaining.
9. Are there any exciting major drops which we all can expect from Nerdunit in the coming months?
Our team is currently in the midst of preparing the launch of our Mindf*cked Generation Fall Winter 2018 collection, which is slightly different from our previous themes but it’s super dope. We can’t wait! Check out Nerdunit social media’s in this coming weeks. It’s that close!
10. Where do you see Nerdunit in the next 2 years?
In 2019, we will opening our UK first Flagship Store in London and moving forward we aim to expand our reach to Europe and United States. We also have many exciting collaborations lined up for the next 2 years, and we can’t wait to share this with our customers who have supported us all these while. So, stay tuned! Nerdunit will be bigger than ever.
11.Any advices for budding fashion entrepreneurs who want to start their own label?
Dream big and don’t ever doubt yourself.