Friday September 21, 2012
Put baju kebaya on the fashion map, designers urged
By JOSEPH KAOS Jr
PETALING JAYA: Marketing the Malaysian baju kebaya to the global fashion market will draw more “shopaholics” to the country, said Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.
Baju kebaya designers, he said, should take advantage of the finding that foreign tourists spent 30% of their expenditure in Malaysia on shopping.
“Last year, they spent RM17.5bil on shopping alone. That's a very big amount,” he said.
“As Malaysia is a shopping destination, it is important that we exploit this,” said Dawos during an announcement on the Miss Malaysia Kebaya 2012 contestants here yesterday.
The number one attraction for tourists in Malaysia, he added, was nature-related, followed by culture and heritage.
“We want the kebaya to be accepted in the global fashion industry,” said Dawos.
“Events like this beauty contest can serve as a platform towards going international.”
The beauty pageant, the first of its kind, saw 19 finalists being short-listed after almost a year of state-level selections.
The grand final will be held on Nov 9 at the Swiss Garden Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Miss Malaysia Kebaya 2012 president Jason Hee said he intended to organise the pageant at the international level where contestants from all over the world would be in a kebaya.
“It is still at planning stage, and we will look into it after this event concludes,” he said.
Local fashion designer Hideaki Lim will design the baju kebaya to be showcased at the pageant.