Meet the emerging fashion and beauty businesses looking to export

Al Hayaah’s designer Sara (R) holding their line of scarfs embellished with Swarovski crystals which start at $25. Al Hayaah also has scarfs with Bruneian motifs (C) sewn on.


Six Brunei businesses looking to export will be joining the sixth edition Malaysia Fashion Week (MFW) for the first time this October 14 to 20 as part of an ongoing business development initiative by BIBD and Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).

Headscarf brands Mumtaz, Rozai Hijab and Al-Hayaah, modest Islamic wear Baital Hijaab and Mudaser and natural cosmetics producer Mukaku will be a part of the Brunei booth at MFW being hosted at Publika Shopping Gallery located in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.

The six businesses are part of BIBD’s Catalyst programme, whose first and second cycles look to help Brunei fashion and beauty small and medium enterprises (SMEs) scale up their production and begin exporting, with Malaysia – who Brunei shares cultural similarities with – as the initial target market.

MFW, organized by STYLO and supported by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), will see designers from over 15 countries and is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors.

Modest fashion is a fast-growing, lucrative market – with purchases from Muslim women amounting to over US$44 billion annually, while Muslim consumers are estimated to have spent US$270 billion on clothing in 2017.

“MFW is positioned as both a B2C (consumer-driven) and B2B platform (business-to-business) with scheduled business matching opportunities, making it an ideal event for Brunei SMEs with potential to export,” said DARe’s Assistant Manager of Market Access Diana Hj Ramli, who are jointly sponsoring Brunei’s participation with BIBD.

Lead by the founder of textiles supplier Madison, Al Hayaah has been in development since 2015, before making their commercial debut by opening their first store in Kiulap’s Setia Kenangan II earlier in August.

With extensive experience in sourcing for materials, Maimun Abdullah hired up-and-coming designer Sara Khadhra Khalidkhan to produce proprietary silk headscarves embellished with Swarovski crystals.

“When customers come in, they handpick the colour and dimensions of the scarf, pick which crystals they would like and have it done immediately on the spot,” said Sara. “We also have scarfs with Bruneian motifs like simpur and pusing flowers designed onto them.”

The brand’s ultimate goal is to export, with Maimun listing Al Hayaah on Zalora. MFW is the next step she added, as they look to build more awareness amongst Malaysian audience.


| By Biz Brunei October 14, 2019

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