“If I have to use only an adjective to describe myself I would say that …
Alia Bastamam. Date of Birth: 17th October 1984
How did you discover this passion for design, especially for fashion? Was that an easy path to follow or have you encountered many difficulties?
I’ve loved fashion all along and I’ve always been interested in making things, even since I was very young. I studied architecture after high school, but I moved to fashion design because it was an urge I had to fulfill. Just like anything new we choose to do, of course, there will obstacles and hiccups but those are the things you learn from and improve to be better. I am also lucky I have an amazing team with me who are also my best friends!
What does this profession represent for you?
It’s not just a profession for me. I am a woman and I love making clothes for myself and for all the women out there who are just like me. Its more than a profession, it’s a passion and its always fascinating to explore the various facets of a woman.
What has been your most challenging and successful moments so far?
Challenges arise from time to time but the weight differs as you learn along the way. It becomes easier because we are mentally prepared for it, patience have been learnt over time and we just focus more on the solutions rather than the challenges. As for successful moments, definitely the milestones for our label and company – all the collections I’ve presented, the launch of our showroom and ateliers, the awards that I’ve garnered & all the amazing people I have dressed. I’m so grateful for it all. It has been a great 4 years for us at Alia Bastamam since the start of the brand.
Which Motto or philosophy represents you and your job?
I had the opportunity to meet fashion designer Matthew Williamson during his KL visit (before we started the brand) and we bonded over cocktails and he left me a note that said “Dear Alia B, You must first have a vision that you believe in and the rest will follow, Love Matthew”. These are the words that we have lived by and I believe is for all budding designers, entrepreneurs. Believe and it will happen
Who has inspired you, or does inspire, to be the woman you are today?
I have a lot of respect for the amazing women out there who dared to be different and are the driving forces of fashion. I’m inspired by the success of Diane Von Furstenberg, Sonia Rykiel, Carolina Herrera, Stella Mccartney and Phoebe Philo, just to name a few.
Could you describe shortly your country to someone who has never been there before? And how is fashion growing in your country?
Malaysia is a melting pot of races, cultures and food – glorious food! It’s also a shopping heaven, really. You can find an amazing blend of fashion flavours from all around the world and a great pool of local designers.
Your professional/academic background.
Degree in Fashion Design from Raffles Design Institute of Kuala Lumpur.
We usually ask our interviewees to inspire the readers, and encourage them to follow their dreams. We would love some words from you also.
Fashion is knowledge. And if isn’t knowledge, it’s something intrinsic. But from where I began as a fashion student until now, my vision of fashion has completely grown naturally. I find myself more in tune with the industry (the market, the consumers, the competitors, the business of fashion) as opposed to just my own idea of fashion & design. Be an open book, be open to learn and allow yourself to improve!
Every woman dream to wear one of her pieces, you can find more here: aliabastamam.com