#FVRaya2018: Exclusive Interview with MAQILLA Designer, Nur Aqilah

Galeri Koleksi Raya 2018 has just ended and local brands are busier than ever launching their collection on Fashion Valet and in their boutiques. As I sat front row to a series of Raya collections, one had particularly stood out the most and it was surprisingly a newcomer brand!

The founder and designer of the MAQILLA brand, Nur Aqilah bt Khalil, debuted her first and freshest Raya collection which exhibited minimalistic styles that still carried feminine elements of stripes and floral prints which quenches all our thirst for elegance but effortless on the day of Eid.

I got the chance to discover MAQILLA from the designer herself on what inspired this year's Raya collection. With Malaysia's supermodel Tinie as her muse; strong, laidback, but still driven — it was no wonder how their collection could easily catch our attention.

I was completely thrown off guard when I first met the ever so humble designer Aqilah as unlike most designers, she would rather be caught dead in a pair of sweats and sneakers. As we sat down to learn more about her latest collection, it felt a lot like talking to a friend.

Started off with just a production team three years ago, today she owns a boutique in Jalan Pahang Kuala Lumpur that offers something almost similar with the latest trends or something completely different; that's the best of both worlds for you!

"Most of my designs are drawn off from my daily activities which includes being a parent and juggling a career. I am most grateful to my team, the backbone of Maqilla, especially for never failing to believe in me.

"When we did our designs for Raya, we opted to choose the fabric first before sitting down to see what can be designed and this makes it very mystifying for us. After going through our designs and mock ups, that's when we decided as a team where the campaign video should be filmed," said the rookie designer.

The Italian 'Kampung' Style

The reason why Aqilah chose to film in Venice (Italy) is due to how the city always felt like very unknown to her even though she has been there many times previously. There is always something new to unravel and like her latest Raya collection, she ensured it also has a teasing and mysterious feel to it.

"A girl walking down the streets of San Marco, can you believe that! It was not only a whole new experience for us but also for those who were there as tourists, as they too thought it was Venice fashion and for the eight days of filming on European soil, we brought 10 pieces from our collection."

Designs can be subjective and so how does Aqilah make her design different from others?

"I want to lessen the risk of having the same fabrics as other local designers so I decided to head up to Bangkok to see what are our best options and fortunately in Bangkok, you can be the only one owning the fabric as they don't produce a lot of it.

'The risk I took this year is to come up with a luxury collection so that means every look, I will only produce five pieces and to that special five customers who owns them, each piece would have it's own unique tweaks to it. That's how personalized and exquisite I would want my customers to feel while wearing my collection," she said.

In terms of branding and marketing, Aqilah is always excited to test how deep she can swim in creative waters. Despite social media being the easiest form of marketing, her main concern now is to uplift the name MAQILLA and the thought of paying someone to talk about her brand is something almost detrimental for this 31-year-old fashion designer.

"I don't feel it and in my opinion, I should be the one talking about my products and would rather invest in the videos and advertisement instead of paying a bunch of influencers to talk about my brand.

"Sometimes, I go for walks in Pavilion and just observe what these youngsters are wearing these days and from there, I learn about what they are interested in and try my very best to market my brand in that direction," she relayed.

Aqilah's boldest risk by far is opening MAQILLA and not a day goes by where shes not proud of it.

"Never ever do things half-heartedly," she further advised.

So as we are weeks away from Eid Fitr 2018, we hope this could help you decide who to wear for this year's joyous occasion! For further inquiries, do visit MAQILLA official site here.

As ever,
#FVRaya2018: Exclusive Interview with MAQILLA Designer, Nur Aqilah  #FVRaya2018: Exclusive Interview with MAQILLA Designer, Nur Aqilah Reviewed by Najah on June 05, 2018 Rating: 5
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