[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n her recent travels, fashion designer Melinda Looi was so moved by the disparity between the rich and the poor, that she immediately set a plan in motion to develop a charity fashion label as an on-going effort to help the less fortunate. Consequently, ‘emel (pronounced eh-MEHL) by Melinda Looi’ was born.
‘emel by Melinda Looi’ is a limited-edition, annual charity Hari Raya collection by Melinda Looi. The word emel is derived from the word amal, of Arabic origin. Amal means hope, expectation, and aspiration. In Malay, it means good deeds or charity.
This new sub-brand by Melinda Looi offers a range of ready-to-wear apparel collection ranging from the traditional Baju Johor, Baju Kedah and the ubiquitous Baju Kurung, to more modern, edgier pieces as well as some sophisticated evening looks for dressier occasions, all of which will be priced affordably at less than RM500 per set. A percentage of sales proceeds will be donated to a selected charity.
“I hope that ‘emel by Melinda Looi’ would be able to bring some Raya happiness to the less fortunate. By creating an accessibly priced collection, more people would be able to contribute to charity while doing their Raya shopping!“ quipped Melinda.
‘emel by Melinda Looi’ injects an extra dose of glamour to its annual collection by aiming to collaborate with a different celebrity each year. He or she would also nominate the charity organization to which the proceeds of that year’s collection would be donated. By doing this, Melinda hopes to leverage the power of celebrity influence to raise awareness for, and contribute to a variety of causes, as well as spread the spirit of giving in young people who look up to these celebrities as their role models.
This year, Melinda invited local celebrity Diana Amir to come on board as guest designer for an exclusive range of headscarves to complement the clothing collection. The tudungs will be branded as ‘Diana Amir x emel by Melinda Looi’.
“I have always been fascinated with how women express their individuality with different styles and ways of wearing a hijab. Diana Amir is one of these women – she always looks fabulous while being modest in her dressing. I think she is a great role model that many young Muslim women look up to,” said Melinda.
Diana has nominated Keluarga Besar Norlina Alawi Berhad (KBNAB, formerly known as Pusat Perlindungan PERNIM Berhad) as her charity of choice.
“I am happy to be asked to be a part of Melinda’s charity project for Ramadhan. The concept is really fun and noble and especially to be given the opportunity to collaborate with Melinda Looi herself is a great honour,” said Diana.
EMEL BY MELINDA LOOI RAYA 2013 – RAYA FOR “HER”
Titled ‘Raya for HER’, the ‘emel by Melinda Looi’ Raya 2013 collection was created for women, by a woman (Melinda) who is no stranger to the art of balancing the hectic schedule of a demanding career with the tremendous effort of raising her children, and spending enough quality time with close friends and loved ones.
“I designed ‘Raya for HER’” for the modern lady who juggles her family with work; moving seamlessly from one role to another. There is something for every occasion – from cheerful prints for celebrations with the family to more elegant looks for Raya parties in the city,” explained Melinda of her inspiration for the brand’s first collection.
‘Raya for HER celebrates the many roles that a modern woman fulfils – as an income-earner, mother, wife, friend, and daughter…From day to night, for every function, this collection is for every power woman who desires to look her best while juggling her many roles and responsibilities in life.
emel by Melinda Looi 2013 Raya Collection – ‘Raya for HER’
Photographer: Hanz Lee
Hair & Makeup: Joey Yap
Retail prices for the ‘emel by Melinda Looi’ collection range between RM380 – RM450, while the ‘Diana Amir for emel by Melinda Looi’ tudung collection will be priced between RM69 – RM89. ‘emel by Melinda Looi’ will be available at the following locations:
Melinda Looi Showroom
131, Jalan Maarof, 59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Melinda Looi Counter:
Parkson Pavillion (4th floor)
Melinda Looi Pop-up Counter
Parkson KLCC (2nd Floor)
Fashion Valet (www.fashionvalet.com) & The Pop Look (www.thepoplook.com)
About Melinda Looi
A purveyor of fine art and vintage chic, Melinda Looi is fashion’s answer to Avant-garde in Malaysia, the full throbbing force of elaborate detail and unconventional style.
Melinda Looi was born as a daughter of a renowned tailor but her career in fashion was not a planned one. After winning a scholarship to La Salle School of Fashion in Montreal, it was her graduation collection that catapulted her into the spotlight, earning her the Malaysian Young Designer Award 1995 in Kuala Lumpur. Melinda spawned into the demanding and exuberating world of fashion design, carving her niche in various stage productions as well as working with the television and film industry in Malaysia and Canada.
With her unique ability to combine fiction and function into her designs it has won herself major awards, especially to mention twice the prestigious Designer of the Year Award at the Malaysian International Fashion Awards in 2004, 2006 and the Mercedes Benz STYLO Designer of the Year award in 2009. Her most recent achievement is being selected as a Malaysian representative at World Fashion Week to be held in Paris in 2013, with one of her couture pieces currently being showcased in fashion weeks around the globe as part of the build-up activities leading up to the actual event.
About Diana Amir
Nurdiyana bt Amir Hashim, better known as Diana Amir was born on 22nd June 1986. She is an accomplished actress, host, model and motivator.
Diana graduated from USM majoring in Human Resources Management. She started off her acting career in 2008 in Sunsilk Impian TV3. She has been involved in numerous films and TV dramas, and is currently a host of SIS talk show on TV9. In 2011, Diana was nominated for Best Actress and Best Rising Star at Anugerah Skrin Awards Show 2011. In 2012 she was nominated for Best Actress at Festival Filem Malaysia.
Diana made the life-changing decision to don the hijab in 2011. She has since been labelled as a “hijab icon” by Malaysian Hijabi. She is also very passionate about fashion, and believes that fashion can be one of the mediums used to spread dakwah (preaching of Islam).
ABOUT KELUARGA BESAR NORLINA ALAWI BERHAD (KBNAB, formerly known as Pusat perlindungan Pernim Berhad)
The story of Puan Hjh Norlina Binti Hj Alawi and PERNIM began in 2001 when she offered shelter to a 23 year-old deaf woman who was 7 months pregnant. Love and maternal instinct led to her personally adopting the woman’s baby and subsequently, several other children of HIV/AIDS patients who had been orphaned or abandoned by their families.
This led to the establishment of Pusat Kebajikan Anak Pesakit HIV/AIDS Nurul Iman Malaysia (PERNIM) in March 2004. On 26th May 2006, she started Pusat Perlindungan PERNIM Berhad, which was then changed to Keluarga Besar Norlina Alawi Bhd (KBNAB) in March 2011. The “welfare centre” is in fact the residence of Puan Hjh. Norlina Binti Hj Nalawi and her husband, Lt. Kol. Hj. Roslan Bin Hj. Zakari.
The aim of KBNAB, as the name “Keluarga Besar” or “big family” implies, to offer its charges the opportunity to lead a normal life with a set of parents, many siblings, and access to religious and academic education.
To date, KBNAB houses 43 children – 7 of which are Norlina’s biological children, while the rest are adopted. 4 of her adopted children are HIV positive, but sadly, 2 of them have passed away.