Sonny San, fashion designer, dies at 54

Tributes are pouring in from fashion designers and celebrities in Malaysia

By Andrea Tim | Published: 17 Oct 2016

Remembering Sonny
Photo: Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week

Malaysian fashion designer Sonny San passed away yesterday from a heart attack. He was 54 years old. San, best known for helming ready-to-wear luxury label Eclipse which he founded in 1996, is considered one of the pioneers in the nation's fashion industry. He had just shown his latest collection at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week in August.

Celebrities and San's fellow fashion designers have written tributes on social media, praising him for his talent, kindness and humility.




Today I received really sad news that Sonny San passed away. I never got the chance to be close to him but it always put a smile on my face to open Instagram to a lovely comment from him like the one just this morning. Seeing him at events with that playful boyish smile he would give me and never failing to come up and say hello and have a chat, it always made me feel warm inside. Not many ppl we meet nowadays are genuine in friendship and kindness but even though I didn't know you as well as I would have loved to, I knew always that you were one of those special ones. I am deeply saddened and wish I could have had a closer friendship with you that I know many had the honour of having. Rest in peace dear Sonny and maybe I will have the chance to have that friendship with you on the other side when the time comes. #RIP #SonnySan

A photo posted by Kim Raymond (@kimchiraymond) on




My dearest @sonnysan I hope you can see this in instagram heaven. You have been an incredible influence in my life when I started as a model way back when. We became fast friends, both hard working Capricorns. You advised me, got me involved in your campaigns and brand, took my hand and talked me through rough patches, approved of and grew to love Nick, believed in me and my work, always so supportive, made not 1 but 2 wedding gowns for me and made my bridesmaids dresses. You were one of the first people I told when I was pregnant and you said, my goodness Elaine, now your life is all complete. You were one of the only few visitors I allowed to come visit in hospital and you held 1 day old baby Eva although you were so nervous. You made me feel good about myself and always called me a superwoman who could do anything. Thank you for having so much faith in me and allowing me to be part of your wonderful 'lived to the fullest life' I will miss you my dear friend. Wish this was all a dream and I'll wake up running down to fitness first and see you there. I will see you one day. Till then enjoy Heaven. p.s I love you Sonny. You were my mentor and my friend. So positive and full of zest. I shall always remember your words to me "Life is short babe, must always be happy" #sonnysan #legend

A photo posted by elainedaly (@elainedaly) on









This morning when I got the whatssap message from Mel I thought I read it wrongly. How can you accept such news.. This pic was taken 2 weeks ago filled with love and laughter. Only now we know it was our last long island tea together.. Being a fashion student in the nineties and now designer, Sonny or Abang (as what I usually call him) was a fashion superstar, Ready-To-Wear King and mentor we all look up to as student and also designer. Few years ago on a Friday night after MODA event, I was literally flat on the floor, both Sonny and Walter took good care of me and make sure I was safe and taken care off. The next day, we started the Saturday with a healthy breakfast on his dining table and I got the chance to spend the day with them and I will always remember how inspiring it was to know you could be successful doing what you love and happy when you do it right and from the heart. He told me about being a strong capricorn. To treat people with kindness. He gave words of wisdom on having a strong DNA, being happy in life and always have respect in what we do. We took a drive with the San Lo kids to Jalan Gurney on the way to send me home, he happily explained the history of the old houses, the story of the streets and about his family during pre - war. This day will always be in my heart. Constanly positive and a smile on his face, he is never tired of warm hugs and kisses. I am deeply affected by this and we all miss you so much. Abang the party will go on with you in our hearts. Goodbye and rest well #sonnysan #rip

A photo posted by syomir izwa sen gupta (@syomsz) on


Rest in peace, Sonny.


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