HE: What do you aim to achieve with this? (ie: change the fashion landscape here in Sarawak)
AH: It may seem superficial, but the harsh reality is that a man is judged by others within seconds of being noticed. First impressions do matter. We live in a judgmental world; we are quick to make assumptions and to categorize individuals based on what we see. Therefore, I wish to change the mentality of Kuching men in definition of dressing sharp is excellence. The etymology of the word “excellence” comes from the Latin “excellere” which means to rise, to surpass and to be eminent.
In order to have potential employers and passers-by stop overlooking and undervaluing us, we need to dress sharp. A man who wears clean and fitted clothing and uses classic style to his advantage will make people value him, his ideas and his presence.A young man who excels (excellence) in dressing sharp will rise above and chances are, he will be spotted first, valued and respected, to be taken seriously.
HE: Where do you plan to take your brand in the future ?
ZH: Everyone has their goals and dreams. I have always had it in me and I see the potential in Gavroche to grow global in the future. I would see myself develop a new market segment or move into new geography. Have a chain, franchise and even to partner up with recognized luxury brands out there. I would also like to get involved in the big 4 fashion weeks (Paris, London, Milan, New York).
HE: Any celebrity endorsements ?
AH: Yes, a couple of celebrities have worn our products , for example the Asia’s Got Talent Hosts duo, Filipino Marc Nelson & Rovilson Fernandes, and Indonesian superstar, Judika and more.
HE: Are there any recent fashion shows that you have done?
AH: Yes, since I started, the fashion industry was quite generous for me, I have been involved in 4 big fashion shows, started with Eid into Style Runway Trend Show, a runway which combined 11 Designers and more than 100 collections. Then Atelier Mad Hatters Tea Party fashion show where we celebrate fashion and hats organized by The Society Atelier of Sarawak. Soon after that, we were blessed to be invited to participate in World International Ikat Textiles Sysmposium Fashion Show to represent Malaysia alongside 16 International designers from all over the world. And as the closure of 2017 and starting of 2018 with a bang, we were invited by the Government of Sarawak State to do a fashion showcase during the official 2018 countdown in front of our Chief Minister. The recent fashion shows I’ve supported include Stylo Gentlemen’s Weekend under Malaysia Fashion Week in Johore, World Eco Fiber Textile Fashion Show 2019 together with International designers and Selangor Fashion Week representing Sarawak.
HE: What are the current projects you’re working on?
AH: We are currently on the hunt for new materials and ideas for our new collection. We also plan to expand our custom made suits and shirts. For exclusivity in menswear we don’t practice “ready to wear” more custom made. But as for accessories like lapel pins, bowties, ties, pocketsquares we do have ready stock to sell. We are also looking into organizing an International fashion conference involving the youth, to better understand the fashion industry, commercialization, trading and fashion marketing.
HE: Any statements on the local fashion/arts scene you’d like to share?
AH: I have always believed you are what you portray yourself to be. You are what you wear. Always dress like who you want to be. It goes a long way…
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Arthur Ashe, Oscar Wilde, and other gentlemen explain why men’s style matters. “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” “Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” “Style is the perfection of a point of view.”
HE: What are the exciting new fashion trends for the upcoming spring 2020 season that you predict may be adopted here?
AZ: Suiting has had the stuffing knocked out of it for spring as menswear tries a new fashion in 2020. I believe we’re likely to see more light vibrant colours, bolder choice of designs and most importantly Italian big lapels on suits. We never see big lapels on suits locally. This season, men are muscling in with discreetly lustrous details. Leave the decoration to the girls, they said. That has been the tried-and-tested approach in fashion until now. I am also inspired by iridescent silk shirts, added bullion and embroidery to jackets and shoes as a masculine way to interpret embellishment. Velvet self tie bows, types of ribbons to substitute the old boring bowties. With that being said, for spring/summer 2020 there are subtle tweaks the style-literate fellow-about-town can make, should he want to add a dash of modernity alongside the standard pieces. I sure do hope men take fashion more seriously in future. “To me fashion is lifestyle. I breath fashion. On my gloomy days when I feel under the weather, I would dress my very best, eventually I will feel better and the rest of my day will be magnificent!”
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