Designer of the Month-April 2012 Suzanie Mat Saat

Hi fellow designers!

 

If your new to this site and are keen to know more about how to become a fashion designer or start a clothing line, warm welcome! Since the start of the Make it Fashion’s “Fashion Forum” I have come across so many designers.

I have found it very intriguing to learn about other designers and their personal journeys and stories. So, on that note I have set up “Designer of the Month” where I’ve chosen to feature one new designer per month, someone with a story and with the willingness to share it..someone that we hopefully can get inspiration and learn something from:-)..so here it goes, the very first:

 

Designer of the Month (for April): Suzanie Mat Saat

 

Questions to Suzanie:

  • What was your previous experience? I was employed as the Head of Admin & Finance of the Astronaut Foundation Malaysia. “Was” being the key word as I find my talents are more in the wonderful arty-farty arena. I can do the Astronaut stuff and yes it was inspiring, but that essential spark-to-my-day was on too long a ‘break’ from the real world. :)

 

  • Where did you source materials and a manufacturer? I went to GhuangZhou for one week of ASPEC (Asian Science Planning & Exhbition Conference) for Malaysia’s national science education & exhibition blueprint where I minggled with the region’s science-based museum curators (Japan, china, thailand, indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Qatar) and astronauts from Japan, China and Korea. But, I could not resist draging a few of my new friends off to the Sun Yat Sen area where we went back for seconds (thrids for me).

 

  • Tell us about that trip? Right off the Sun Yat Sen stop, there were rows of lace edgings, cloth, button, bits and bobs. I carted away about 10kgs worth of open embroidered cotton in white, a sparkly purple sequined net, a gold shimmered watercolour effect chiffon in shades of blue and a pink-cream-white paisley cloth (am not sure what type of cloth, viscose?). I spent a shocking RM100 on about a total of 20meters of cloth. That’s about USD30. In Malaysia, the open embroidered cotton would cost me some RM30/m, the net would be about RM120/m and the chiffon about RM55/m. I saved (or according to my husband spent on an ‘opps-you-weren’t-there-to-stop-me buy’) about RM2,000.00. I’ll e-mail to you the pics in a bit. These cloths are for another project, not my own label though.

 

  • What about your brand/label? I am eager to start my own label, a 7-14 year-old line for girls. I’ll be doing heritage-themed outfits in jersey, cotton, viscose and some special occasion outfits. At the moment, I am ditthering with the name and trying to get some financial help. I am looking to design the outfit, and as per my experience in the UK, have a manufacturer (most likely in either Thailand or indonesia) to do samples and supply the outfits. (More on this in my next, next e-mail)
“OWN LABEL”
1. I can’t decide on the blasted name. Something cute, something heritage based, something internationally easy to pronounce.
2. Worn by: Pre teens and young teenage girls who want to wear modest-cut clothes, but still look attractive. Cloth must be easy to care for, as little ironing as possible, cooling to the skin and fast to dry. (Malaysia is hot and humid for most of the year).
3. Collection: basic shirts with 3/4 or long sleeved (in various styles), palazzo pants, tiered skirts, jeans, traditional wear, kaftans. Assecories too! (A rough draft with mood board as attached)
4. Why the label? My eldest, Fairuz Arfa (doodlewonderland) has 24,000 followers on her own website. She is the voiceover talent as “Yaya” in a local animation series “boboiboy’ with audience of 1.03million people per episode. She has no outfit for her media appointments!!!
NO-INFO-YET LIST:
1. FINANCIER!!! (and contractual agreement and guides on this?)
2. Performa Invoices, bill of landing, taxes, import duties, timeline
3. Design (Me in Malaysia) to Manufacture (?? in Thailand or Indonesia as easy to check up via Air Asia RM59/flight) to Warehouse (hopefully manufacturer?) to distribution (online and store).
4. Set up bank account (ugh!! The forms!)
5. Looking out for manufacturers, printers, postal service
I KNOW HOW-TO INFO
1. Deconstructing Design to Manufacture process (includes development stage with mood boards), selection of cloth, colors, etc.
2. Filing & Admin stuff (boring but very important!)
3. Marketing/promo/communication/advertising stuff (I’ve had 15 years in this area . . . I still need a name for the label though!)
A BIT ABOUT ME
Education:
Persuing PhD in Information Science: Information Design at Loughborough University, UK.
B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies (Art, Marketing & Journalism with an emphasis in Computer Animation and Advertising) from University of Missouri Columbia, USA.
Expertise:
Desktop Publishing, Advertising, PR, Media Management & Project Management: 15 years
Experience:
Walt Disney World Resorts (I was the first batch of employees for Animal Kingdom in Florida)
Multimedia Development Corporation
Malaysian Venture Capital Management
Flare Studios (Animation, Advertising & movies)
National Cancer Society of Malaysia (this is the basis of my PhD)
Paramount Knitwear (UK) – Fashion design & managment
Loughborough University
Heritage Design (Designing and editting 4 coffee table books)
Ministry of Information, Culture and Communication (Head of Corporate Comm & answer to Sec Gen & Minister)
Astronaut Foundation Malaysia
This it for the summary. :)
Once I get the label’s name, then all others can follow through. I hope! :)
Warm Regards,
SUZIE
  • Did you like this interview/story? Any comments? Would love to hear from you..!Alice

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  1. Evelyn
    5 years ago

    Hi Suzie,

    I think your concept is fabulous and fills a need in the market at the same time! It is almost impossible to find Modest clothes for young girls! Here, in Canada, if it has long sleeves it is tight fitting, And for sure you will never see anything with long sleeves in summer.

    I know Malaysia has such a beautiful fashion industry. But for the average person maybe it is not easy to find what you are looking for? I love their caftans and abayas that I see in fashion blogs and videos.

    I am excited to see your line develop! Find a name soon!! 😀 Let us know how you find the manufacturer that you are using. Also, how do you plan on selling and marketing your clothes?

    Love,
    Evelyn