When i opened my email, my jaw literally fell to the floor. Anyone skeptical that beauty and brains can coexist in the same being should meet Jaja. She speaks charming and charismatic words. I thought she'd reply 3-4 lines only but this is how enthusiastic she is! So passionate! I love it! Love supporting a brand with inspiring, strong and influential people behind it. Reading this made me realize that SFKL's beacon of inspiration is what surrounds them and most importantly woman. The clothes are never as important as the person. This empowerment is whats most important to SFKL and this is something we must too, realize and practice. The woman (us) comes first, only then the clothes that makes you feel great. Enjoy reading!
What is a day at SFKL Bootik like?
Proper chaos, usually. We would usually be playing a lot of rap and hip-hop in the office. We love our bits of pop culture gossip so there's usually a threeway or fourway conversation about who we think Drake or Jennifer Anniston should end up with, marry and have kids with. Y'know, just regular stuff like that to kick off the morning to a soundtrack of Tupac. Haha, but honestly, a day at the SFKL Bootik is generally fun. We celebrate every time we make sales and we're constantly helping each other out so each and every department in our company performs and runs smoothly, including the Bootik itself where customers come in and sit. We love having a chat with them and just helping them out style wise. It's a thing we love to do and we wouldn't even call it customer service, more like just getting to know a person and learning what they like and dislike before helping them pimp their wardrobes. We adopt this casual bootik method where anyone can just drop by, have a cuppa and shop. We also have our own in-house studio where we shoot our products so shoot days are loud with more gangster rap and tons of styling! We are basically a small, chatty all-girl team and we try our very best to make a day at work fun, exciting and creative. We bounce off each other's energy a lot!
SFKL to me, is bold and fearless. Being in a very competitive fashion industry. How does SFKL stand out apart from others?
We would definitely like to think of ourselves as bold and fearless. And we're not only in the fashion industry because the more technical part of us is actually in the e-commerce industry which is situated on the World Wide Web from running a website. And the World Wide Web is infinitely massive.Locally speaking, we do have strong local competitors and we stand apart from them because we are indulgently just us most of the time. The brand in essence started from our CEO and founder's personal style, Sazzy Falak. The clothes we curate are pieces we love and would wear ourselves. It's personal, and the market loves getting personal in a market that's catering to the masses. We have always had a personal style and we grew and stuck with it at the same time -- of course, evolving with the trends and the market. However, the best part of all this in the end is when we have walk-in sales at our bootik. The process of a customer coming in, picking up things they love and rocking it all to their own style is the most satisfying thing any fashion seller and designer can have at the end of the day. It's just great to see how all these people -- young or matured, hijab or non-hijab, every body shope -- rocking things all to their own style.
Coming back to my point as to what sets SFKL apart in the scene is that we're just here to help everyone and anyone express themselves through style. We're not just selling, we want to make women feel empowered through their clothing. And the first step to radical self-love and empowerment is through style -- especially in Malaysia where most women are afraid of looking too 'out there'. Most Malaysian women prefer to blend in fear of being 'judged' and it's something that we think slows down Malaysia and KL's growth as a fashion capital. We hope to inspire more women to just wear whatever makes them happy. We think there's a gap in the market for that sort of encouragement, so we really do hope we're helping to fill in the gap in the local market.
I love how the clothes are presented at the bootik, especially your colour palette and how you mix fresh & cool with traditional. Where do you go/look for inspiration?
Why, thank you. We're glad you like it. For inspiration, honestly, we can't deny we look into the current trends but there's a big difference between wearing something straight off the runway and just taking a beautiful piece and make it completely your own, with your own style twist. Our inspiration is also who is out there, Malaysian women. That also includes ourselves. We curate to our taste collectively, but also by keeping in mind other women. Age, body, career, religious compliances. So put runway trends, street style trends and women together, we have our tagline which is 'For All Things Contagiously Beautiful'. We say 'contagious' because that's what trends are. They're contagious, and we'd like to pass that on so everyone can be current and beautiful at the same time. The brand was born with the idea of just making the streets your runway, by doing so you have no idea how one flawless outfit can inspire another woman who walks past you to step out of her fashion comfort zone. Our inspiration basically comes from this cycling ecosystem of the runway, the street and the women who dares (henceforth our very special rack of neon pieces).
SFKL walked the runway in KL Fashion Week 2014. Having that ticked off the list. What SFKL'S next big move?
We actually have two brands under us that was born from one. We first started off with 'Street Fashion by Sazzy Falak' back in late 2012, a year later we divided the brand into two. One is called Street Fashion KL -- our afforadable, more high street boutique brand which also holds other brands -- and the other is SF by Sazzy Falak -- which is the high end designer label. The one that did walk the runway for KLFW 2014 was SF by Sazzy Falak, which was an honour!For SFKL, our next big move is definitely getting the word out there about our brand and going brick-and-mortar. We're looking into department stores as well as our own flagship stores in a defining area. Also, the bigger thing for us is to actually start designing for SFKL rather than just curating. We'd love to further push our personal touch into the clothing by producing them ourselves. It'll definitely be more satisfying to match fresh & cool with traditional when they're directly from us. And of course, to further strengthen our website's service and presence in the e-commerce world.As for SF by Sazzy Falak, we'd like to further push the boundaries of the brand stylewise. The designer herself is ever evolving with her own style yet she remains true to her love for bohemia meet rock 'n' roll meet our Asian heritage. Since the start, she has always loved giving traditional prints modern silhouettes. Prints and texture fabric wise are things she's always keen on pushing and experimenting with. Again, getting the brand into our own brick-and-mortar and even presented on international runways. I guess the biggest one for the brand is that we're gearing up for KLFW 2015. Woohoo!
We're really keen on working with local brands. One of them in the works is with a brand currently housed under SFKL called Ash Burn D. Ash Majid designs and handmakes accessories from batik. Her current range are the Batiq Chokers which are these amazingly unique, one-of-a-kind handmade necklaces. It's traditional, fresh and unique henceforth our longstanding love for the designer and her brand. We're working on collaborating with her in making a range of necklaces that's both SFKL and Ash Burn D.Another collaboration we'd love to further go forth with is Sometime Bags. They're an independent brand that designs quality and affordable bags. We have already collaborated with them with the bags Teja and Lela, inspired by our chief designer and CEO, Sazzy. We're definitely looking into extending the line in the near future.
Anything else you would like to add?
Nothing much other than a million thanks and kisses for giving us the opportunity and of course, you being you. We love your style and your passion in not letting anyone diminish it. We hope others reading this is inspired to be their stylist selves fearlessly. Cheers!