Think Global, Made Local

17 April 2017

In celebration of Malaysian-international brand collaborations, we highlight the top three local brands that have collaborated with global brands to create top-notch collections.

These Malaysian brands have found success at home – and they’ve also been tapped to team up with international brands to create enviable collections that address local and global aspirations and audiences. Here are the notable collaborations thus far.

Reebok X CROSSOVER by JOE CHIA: The Shadow Of Phantom collection
The Shadow of Phantom, a collaborative collection between concept store CROSSOVER’s founder, Jem and fashion designer Joe Chia, dropped last year in November. The two worked together over two years with Reebok – and G-Shock – to create a collection that stays true to Joe Chia’s subdued monochromatic, geometric aesthetic, rooted in streetwear style. The result reads as a riposte to the sartorial peacocking that reverberated through the scene for much of 2016 – think deconstructed sweatpants, graphic prints, and logos – featuring sleek, street-smart sensibilities showcased in a remake of the Reebok Pump Fury. The kicks are dipped in darkness in the oeuvre of Joe Chia, and upgraded with an added leather heel strap (a new, never-seen-before twist to the Pump Fury), as well as the use of supple Italian leather.

To complement the collection’s core concept of minimalism and its complexities – and to further explore the “vague element of a phantom” – the collaboration also includes a Casio G-Shock DW5600-E timepiece (with a cross-branded band) and a MA-1 jacket, emblazoned with the words “No other like you demand the impossible”.

CROSSOVER collaborations, at this point, have reached cult status; the sneakerstore recently reimagined Reebok’s 1986 classic Club C in an all-white, tennis-inspired silhouette, and in April launched its Velvet Twin pack featuring a pair of reinterpreted Puma icons – Blaze of Glory and Disc Blaze – which take cues from David Lynch’s neo-noir classic, Blue Velvet, no less.


Showroom X Vans 21:30 collection

In 2016, sneaker giant Vans tapped Kuala Lumpur-based skate shop Showroom to create a collaborative two-piece collection. It marks the first time that Vans has collaborated with a Malaysian-based brand. Dubbed 21:30, the collection was “designed with the night skater in mind”; it is so named for the hour during which the Showroom skating community takes to the pavement on their skateboards when the shop shuts its doors at night.

Built on the Old Skool Pro and Sk8 Hi Pro silhouettes, the shoes are capped off with coating on the panels which, thanks to reflective 3M material, shine bright when coming into contact with direct light, affording their wearers some safety and visibility when skating within the congested cityscape after 9.30pm – plus points go to the sleek, stylish aesthetics which are equal parts form and function. The 21:30 collection also showcases a Duracap midsole and translucent icy outsole, as well as an interchangeable velcro sidestripe that allow for wearers to switch between a stark white sidestripe and the signature Vans checkered motif. Both kicks boast a debossed Showroom sign.

The skateboarding-core shop has also collaborated with California-cool surf and streetwear brand Stussy on a Showroom X Stussy Skate-Man T-shirt, which was released in 2015. The tee was designed with a graphic print of Stussy’s iconic Skate-Man, which has a Showroom logo on the skate deck. At the back of the T-shirt, Malaysia’s national flower, the hibiscus, made an appearance in Stussy’s script font and logo.


OBSCR X CBFC Equality Capsule Collection
Malaysian-based streetwear brand OBSCR recently collaborated with Tokyo’s City Boys FC to create a three-piece capsule collection entitled Equality, centered on the concept of football as a beautiful game beyond racial barriers, and as a promoter of diversity, equality and respect.

The collection is comprised of a pullover hoodie in an oversized cut, fronting a “FOOTCCER” embroidery and functional front pockets; a T-shirt with the word “RESPECT” printed on the back and on the front, a graphic inspired by one of Henri Matisse’s most significant painting, La Danse, evocating an expressive resonance of all-consuming movement; and a tote bag that pays tribute to the late Arthur Friedenreich, who was a Brazilian football player nicknamed El Tigre. The capsule collection was made available at the SHUKYU Shop POP UP @ Vacant, Tokyo as well as at CROSSOVER outlets in Mid Valley and Sunway Pyramid.

 By Ng Su Ann
Images courtesy of respective brands featured.

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