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CollabStore in KL aims to be an avenue for emerging local fashion brands from East, West Malaysia

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — The fashion market is often dominated by mega-rich and established international brands who can afford to have an extravagant boutique at any strategic location in town.

That, unfortunately, isn't be the case for most emerging local designers aiming to establish a name.

With that in mind, fashion entrepreneur Richard Tsen thought of bringing several upcoming local fashion brands together to grow with a collective effort under one roof.

The result became a 465 sqm multi-brand boutique called CollabStore at Shoppes, Four Seasons Place along Jalan Ampang.

The name of the boutique simply means “a collaboration store” where art meets fashion.

The store opened its doors in 2021, but it went through a bumpy road due to the Covid-19 pandemic and movement restrictions.

Tsen, however, said business is now picking up and they are back on track.

Speaking about the concept, Tsen said he got the idea from Paris after seeing many multi-brand boutiques.

“Many of the small brands can’t afford to be on their own.

“Therefore, I thought what if I gather a few of them and we all go under one roof.”

CollabStore is the brainchild of Richard Tsen who started the boutique to create an avenue for the upcoming local fashion brands. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
CollabStore is the brainchild of Richard Tsen who started the boutique to create an avenue for the upcoming local fashion brands. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

CollabStore is the brainchild of Richard Tsen who started the boutique to create an avenue for the upcoming local fashion brands. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Tsen managed to select over 30 fashion brands from East and West Malaysia to offer a selection of creative, unique and dynamic product categories ranging from womenswear and menswear to accessories and books.

Some of the brands include Andy Sulaiman, Kit Woo, Outdwell, Project1826, Styled by Peter Lum and Umbi.

“CollabStore provides a platform for new designers to showcase their creations without the costly set-up and high rental.

“We want them to focus on refining their products, while we manage and promote their crafts.”

CollabStore houses over 30 fashion brands from East and West Malaysia. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
CollabStore houses over 30 fashion brands from East and West Malaysia. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

CollabStore houses over 30 fashion brands from East and West Malaysia. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Moving forward, Tsen said he is planning for the second outlet with larger floor space and adding new categories like homeware, beauty products and an in-house cafe.

Tsen said local brand owners who have been in the market between one and two years are welcome to submit their concept and brand direction to join CollabStore.

“They should have low quantity production, refined workmanship and contemporary design.

“The brand must also be able to sustain the business for the next 12 months.”

Apart from offering designer goods, CollabStore also aims to organise workshops, short film screenings, product demonstrations and fashion shows.