What you need to know about Malaysian label weihaoyong
The new Malaysian designer who wants you to wear his pieces forever
Only two seasons in, and new label weihaoyong (WHY) is already an intriguing new prospect on the Malaysian fashion scene. Helmed by Sabahan and ESMOD Kuala Lumpur graduate Aaron Yong, the label has an aesthetic that is resolutely modern, but without gimmickry. Tailoring forms the backbone of weihaoyong's AW17 collection, in an earthy palette of rust, oatmeal and cream, with shots of sky blue.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
It was never really my intention. It all started when I won a scholarship in a competition, and the rest just fell into place. Opportunities came along the way and I grabbed them when I could. Hence, here I am with my own label. If I wasn't pursuing this path, I would most probably end up being an architect. Or perhaps a botanist.
Describe the weihaoyong woman.
WHY women are strong, independent and straightforward, and WHY style celebrates their self-acceptance and unconventional beauty. Although the inspirations are seasonal, I would like for the garments to be timeless. A reinvention of the classics; statement pieces that will stand the test of time.
Are form and construction a weihaoyong signature?
Indeed they are. With a design philosophy based on the architectural idea of Brutalism, we believe that form follows function. The constructions and cuttings are formed with the minimal number of pieces while respecting the "flow" of a garment. The label strives for versatility within an everyday wardrobe, providing practical and hassle-free staple pieces that don't need constant maintenance.
Your SS17 collection incorporated the use of old denim. Will sustainability continue to be a theme in your collections?
Yes, however sustainability usually comes at a price. Small businesses like ours are unable to produce high tech sustainable materials in a minimum quantity. For the time being, we've incorporated techniques which involve the idea of sustainability. Leftover scraps from garment production are shredded and turned into yarns for our handmade knitwear. We also use innovative pattern cutting techniques to reduce the wastage of materials.
Describe your label's style direction.
The brand has always been inspired by the idea of empowerment and self-appreciation. We want the garments to bring out the best in the wearer and not overshadow her.
This article first appeared in the August 2017 issue of ELLE Malaysia.