Harper's Bazaar Malaysia
Fashion Image Credit: Harper's Bazaar Malaysia
Fashion Image Credit: Harper's Bazaar Malaysia

The Niche List

Why blend in, when you can stand out? For true fashion originals, niche labels are more than just status symbols.

Azura Rahman

Fashion tribes have arguably been in place since the documentation of fashion itself. From the sans culottes and the, well, culotte-d citizens of late 18th-century France to the Mods vs. the Teddy Boys of 1960s Great Britain, and the Preppies and Sloane Rangers of the 1980s, what you wear has long been an identifier of your personality, mindset, and in the case of the long-trousered Frenchman in 1792, your economic status. Today’s fashion tribes are much more varied and disparate than ever—from hypebeast streetwear obsessives to the super spiffy tailored gents … and this is just Kuala Lumpur that we are talking about. Luckily, in the current fashion democracy that we live in, the rise of niche labels means that every sartorial want is catered for.

Think of it as a strong fashionable revolt against the global trend wagon that is Instagram. The same Malone Souliers Maureen mules, Jacquemus mini purse, and Self Portrait lace dress won’t cut it with true style originals. And as tempting as that Off-White X Nike sneaker may be, the shoes will sadly lose their “freshness” when every other Instagram influencer is wearing them. For the discerning fashion lover, the thrill is in the niche.

Keith Gan, buyer for the Melium Group, agrees. “Our women (customers) demand and appreciate design, quality, and flair. It’s not about how well known a brand is; it comes down to how the garment makes her feel.”


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