Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2023 Celebrates Sustainable Style With Flair

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Kuala Lumpur (MBFWKL) put the theme of Electric is the Attitude into full gear for its 2023 edition at Zepp KL, bringing renowned fledging designers together in its commitment to sustainable fashion.

The latest collections included the likes of established names such as Justin Yap and Celest Thoi, as well as emerging labels such as Li Atelier and weihaoyang. All gave a fresh spin to their individual sartorial philosophies, employing techniques and resources such as eco-friendly materials, ethical production processes including renewable energy sources, as well as innovative designs like smart textiles and digital solutions to reduce waste and carbon footprint.

“The word sustainability carries a lot of weight and is not as easy to achieve as we’d like,” says acclaimed designer Justin Yap. “Mine is a bespoke label, and I was able to revisit my archive for this latest collection. I tell my clients, don’t just wear [the piece] once—you can repurpose it, cut it short, for example.” 

Aaron Yong’s showcase for his weihaoyang label also focused on minimising the amount of fabric wastage, looking to quiet luxury for inspiration. “My strengths lie in pattern making and construction, so I worked and draped the garments so that there was very little wastage. Whatever scraps that were left over, I salvaged and reused in touches like piping or trimming.”

Sagree Sardien, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, underscores the importance of evolving style with more than a modicum of substance. “The first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week KL was staged in 2018, featuring local and regional fashion designers who presented innovative designs that combined fashion and the automotive world in supporting Mercedes-Benz’s sustainability messaging.

“These designers come with forward-thinking ideations and aspirations that align very well with Mercedes-Benz’s innovative, inspirational and modernity brand attributes,” Sardien continues. “Young talents are featured alongside established designers in an exclusive platform where they can exchange know-how, while showcasing their dynamic creations. They were selected based on their relevance to current fashion trends, years of brand presence, and creative offerings that complement our brand identity, with sustainability at the core.” 

The fashion association is a good one for the car marque, reinforcing the brand’s personality. “We aim to express modern luxury with a focus on creating ‘sensual purity’ designs through traditional craftsmanship and innovative technology to deliver authentic and emotional experiences,” she says. “That’s why we nurture creativity, craftsmanship and technical expertise by developing the link between the class-leading cars of the brand and the cutting-edge world of fashion.” 

It’s a message that went down well with the exclusive crowd of more than 800 guests at the three-day long event, with local designers, fashion muses, key opinion leaders, celebrities, and socialites as well as ardent Mercedes-Benz customers among the invitees. This year also saw brand partners Mercedes-Benz Card, Kimarie Hairdressing, MAC Cosmetics, Braun Buffel, W Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Samsung, Four Pillars, and Chum Churum lending depth and diversity to the proceedings.


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