The Malaysian fashion industry has been expanding and improving for a number of years now with the rise of talented local designers. Apart from clothing, more and more designers have involved themselves in the art of footwear. Here, Top 10 of Malaysia shares its list of the nation’s top ten talented shoe designers who have a name for themselves, locally or internationally.
Datuk Jimmy Choo
One of the most renowned shoe designers from Malaysia, Datuk Jimmy Choo established his luxury icon brand, Jimmy Choo in 1996. The brand exudes confidence and glamour. Talented in the art of celebrity dressing, Choo handcrafts shoes with a sexy cut and fashionable design. Besides, Choo also produces handbags, small leather goods, scarves, men shoes, sunglasses and eyewear. Being one of the pioneers to introduce handbags and shoe styles to celebrities who walk on the red carpet in Hollywood, Jimmy Choo has now become the ideal runway brand.
Dato Lewré Lew Fong Voon
Award-winning royal couturier, Dato Lewré Lew Fong Voon founded Lewré Bespoke in 1997. Well known for his excellently designed shoes, the brand has participated in global trade fairs and also the London fashion week. Lewré Bespoke has also won awards such as SME brand of the year by Putra Brand in 2011 and was also named Brand of the year 2016 – Fashion Shoes category by the world branding forum. Lew has also personally designed footwear for Kate Middleton, Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and also other members of the Malaysian royal family.
Christy Ng founded Christy Ng Shoes which is a shoe design company specialising in evening shoes, wedding shoes and custom leather footwear. The specialty of Christy Ng Shoes is that it provides customers an opportunity to design their dream footwear by selecting the heel height, materials, fabrics and styles on the 3D shoe design platform on their website. Shoes such as comfortable mules for daily wear and delicate heels which are perfect selections for gala dinners and wedding occasions are found in all stores.
Mohd Faizol aka Zul Mohd
Mohd Faizol, most commonly known as Zul Mohd is the founder of EMMETT, a custom fashion shoe label. Established in 2010, EMMETT has shoes for VIPs and royalties around the world such as Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton. Its stunningly designed shoes with the likes of flats, heels, gladiator sandals and ankle boots have been worn by Hollywood and Malaysian celebrities such as Kristyn Burtt, Kimora Lee Simmons, Lauren Mayhew, Datuk Sheila Majid and Ana Raffali. EMMETT shoes are suitably worn for prestigious events such as red carpet events, fashion show, music videos and stage performances.
Xavier Mah and Alfred Hor
Xavier Mah and Alfred Hor founded XALF in 2012 as they have an intense passion in a cosmopolitan fashion whereby classic looks are recreated with a modern touch. Xavier Mah have won several awards such as EY Entrepreneur of The Year Award 2017 in Emerging Category, Grandeur International Business Awards 2017/2018 and emerged as a finalist at the Ten Outstanding Young Malaysian Awards 2017. Their shoes have been favoured and worn by famous celebrities such as Charmaine Sheh, Ai Tominaga, Irene Ang, Sharon Au, Liv Lo and Datuk Yasmin Yusoff in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Established in 2015, Zeve Shoes is the brainchild of shoe enthusiast, Zaid Arif who has a deep interest in Italian shoe designs. His designs consist of fine leather dress shoes for men such as colourful and trendy loafers, tasselled, slippers, penny loafers, fringed loafers, Belgian loafers with tassel, Belgian loafers with ribbon, Oxfords and Chelsea boots with similar quality and designed as renowned Italian brands but at affordable prices. To date, his creations have been featured in various media channels such as Maskulin, Glam Lelaki, Astro, TV3, and GQ International Menswear Magazine (The United Kingdom). He also has customers worldwide from over 40 countries.
Hidayah Hassan established Cipela in 2011. She specializes in handcrafted footwear which includes designs for occasions such as every day wear, work, evening and bridal wear with unique textiles, distinctive textures and patterns made from classic materials and thus creating an effortlessly luxurious and stylish look. Cipela shoes come in different types, which are the Everyday Cipela which are leather pumps and court shoes, Cipela Evening which are traditional and contemporary style shoes and Cipela Bridal which are shoes made from lace and satin silk. She has also won the Broadband Empowered Entrepreneur Award 2014.
Founded by Nelissa Hilman in 2011, the brand Nelissa Hilman is well known for its muted flats and mid heels in Italian leather. Its Resort 2018 collection features metallic and velvet heels in several colour assortments and shapes. Nelissa’s designs have been worn by models during local fashion weeks. She collaborated with Paris-based Malaysian fashion designer, Jonathan Liang and made runway pieces of shoes for his fashion line during the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2013 and 2014.
Yoke Sin Theam and Yokie Yoke Git Theam
Yoke Sin Theam and Yokie Yoke Git Theam are sisters who founded the Malaysian footwear label Yoke & Theam, famous for its sought-after designs of durable rubber sandals, mules and heels. The famous sandals designed by them are the Zeus Sandals with mesh design, Ace Sandal, Mae Sandal, Picabo Leather, Zinnia Sandals, Serena Sandals and Ivy Sandals. Its sporty footwear balances feminine and masculine qualities. Yoke & Theam footwear has also been worn by fashion model, winner of the second season of Asia’s Next Top Model and embroidery artist, Sheena Liam.
Ung Yiu Lin
Ung Yiu Lin established ShoesShoesShoes in 2006 and it has now been one of the leading footwear brands in Malaysia that also include clothing and accessories. Her shoes are worn by various local socialites and celebrities. Other than being a shoe designer, this multi-talented lady also started KLutched, a label dedicated to bags which gained popularity outside of Malaysia, the Bambini collection, which consists of clothes for toddlers and matching shoe designs for mother and child, and also Idylinn, a limited line of high end resort wear. Besides, she is also a fashion influencer and is one of the most admired fashionable personalities in Kuala Lumpur.