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A movement that advocates the best of both worlds between conservative and chic, modest fashion is now a common #ootd choice. The rise of social media brought an accompanying wave of attention to the style, with the ubiquity and convenience of ecommerce helping to turn inspo into wardrobe additions. Previously reserved for women whose religion or beliefs dictate certain aesthetic codes, this way of dressing has attracted a wider following among individuals who find more comfort and creativity in covering up.
There is no shortage of supply to the demand, and Malaysia has been ahead of the curve with homegrown brands getting plenty of love online and on the streets. Whether you are an aspiring designer in need of ideas, an established label looking to carve a slice of the market, or simply hoping to include new shopping destinations in your radar, here are eight of our top picks that are blazing the trail on Instagram.
The rise of modest fashion has helped to defy misconceptions and stereotypes, and Mimpikita has been leading the charge. The brainchild of three sisters—Nurul, Mira, and Syera Zulkifli—the label demonstrates that style and virtue can go hand in hand. Their penchant for comfortable apparel in pastel and jewel tones made a splash at the 2016 London Fashion Week, and now finds a global audience hungry for more.
@mimpi_kita • 350,000 followers • mimpikita.com.my
No list is complete without mentioning the doyens of the local scene, and Jovian firmly belongs in this category. Founded in 2006, his label has been a stalwart of modest fashion long before the phrase entered industry vernacular. Known for lavish designs that push the envelope in style, his collections span ready-to-wear, bridalwear, corporate wear, and accessories. Admirers are aplenty, counting among them members of the royal family and the who’s who of high society.
@jmandagie • 713,000 followers • jovian.com.my
Rizman Ruzaini provides fans of the biggest names in Malaysian entertainment the opportunity to step into the shoes of their heroes—literally. The creative duo of Rizman Nordin and Ruzaini Wan Jamil have built a reputation as designers to the stars, dressing the likes of Siti Nurhaliza, Ning Baizura, and Erra Fazira. The label’s clientele is not limited to upmarket connoisseurs, with collections that satiate a variety of styles and price tags.
@rizmanruzaini • 1 million followers • rizmanruzaini.my
Bringing haute couture to everyday style, Rico has become a familiar name on the lips and a familiar search term in the phones of many modest dressers. From headscarves and shoes to accessories and even a men’s line, his namesake label offers a wide selection for all occasions. His runway flair extends to the wedding aisle, with outfits for both bride and bridesmaids that will make the affair truly one to remember. Shoppers who prefer a closer look at the options can visit any one of his three retail outlets at Plaza Damas, Isetan KLCC, and Bangi Sentral.
@ricorinaldi • 126,000 followers • ricorinaldi.com
Perhaps among the brands that have benefitted the most from the social media boom, Fiziwoo was borne in 2011 when Mohd Hafizi Radzi Woo asked his architect friend Izree Kai Haffiz to join in his fashion venture. The rest became history, and the label has become the byword for trendy. Their combination of sleek form and modern lines have adorned a high-profile fanbase that includes celebrities and influencers as well as paraded down the catwalks of international fashion weeks.
@fiziwoo • 214,000 followers • fiziwoo.com
A graduate in fine arts, Nurita has always had an eye for the more beautiful things in life. That passion and background are plain to see in her designs; a meticulous mix of soft layers, drapery, and muted colour tones to create flattering, feminine silhouettes. While she has made her name in the local scene for over a decade for her ready-to-wear ensembles, she is equally prodigious with custom orders and is highly sought-after come wedding season.
@nuritaharith • 135,000 followers • nhbynuritaharith.com
Named Designer of the Year at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, Alia began in the bespoke business long before her brand became synonymous with luxurious ready-to-wear pieces. That discerning sense of style and understanding of diverse tastes still persist in the timeless appeal of each release. Not content with dominating the Malaysian market, she has been expanding her footprint with appearances at Milan and Los Angeles shows.
@aliabastamamkl • 180,000 followers • alia-b.com
Eveningwear is the name of the game at Innai Red and elegance is the key. Each piece that comes off the rack is designed with contemporary feminity in mind, evident in the label’s calling card of intricate embellishments and dramatic hemlines. While the brand still retains its made-to-order roots, it has also expanded to bridal, Raya, and ready-to-wear collections.
@innaiandco • 199,000 followers • innaiandco.com