MALAYSIAN BEACHES WILL SOON BE SEEING A BRAND NEW ATTRACTION TO RIVAL EVEN THE MOST STUNNING OF VISTAS, AND SARAH REES MET THE LADY LEADING THE CHARGE.
Malaysia delivers many a beach-perfect day. With blue skies, warm breezes, and (nearly) perpetual sunshine, Malaysia offers the ideal climate for lolling around by the ocean. Factor in the attractiveness of the natural islands and beaches, the wealth of resorts dotted along the coast, and the sheer variety of places from which to view and enjoy the ocean, it is a wonder that Malaysia-based workers ever manage to spend time at work.
The one thing that has never been plentiful in Malaysia, however, is high-end attire suitable for wearing to and beside these stunning, award-winning beaches.
This gap in the market was one that young Malaysian Fei-Sen Yap noted and, eager for a new challenge, she decided to do something about it. “We found that there were limited selections in terms of fashion and quality beachwear for our fellow Malaysians as well as the expatriates who reside here,” Sen recalls.
The solution Sen and her friend arrived at was Beija Beachwear, a stylish swimsuit company that offers Malaysia-based women unique, luxurious beachwear, fresh from the country that has long been a global leader for sea-front fashion.
Just uttering the word “Brazil” conjures up images of bronzed woman, with features so iconic they could be chiselled from sandstone, draping their long luxurious selves on burning beaches in swimwear that any girl would dream to own. Brazilian women are renowned the world over for their style and the high value they place on fashion, especially when it comes to those small but important pieces worn to the beach. According to a recent survey, Brazilian women are the nation most attentive to the quality of their swimwear – nearly 90% own a bikini – so it is easy to see why Sen sought out the Brazilian touch when it came to providing Malaysia with the perfect, water-friendly outfit.
“We stock two Brazilian labels,” explains Sen, bringing out piece after piece of small but perfectly formed water-friendly clothing that would not look out of place on a catwalk. “I found many unique and fashionable brands out there; a lot of them were just to die for! However, the brands that I decided to bring into Malaysia had to be one-of-a-kind pieces that are hard to find anywhere in Asia. And of course, they must be reasonable priced.” Shoppers can choose between Rio de Sol – bikinis that embrace the vibrancy and samba beats of the thumping Rio de Janeiro – and the luxurious Larissa Minatto, in which designer Larissa crafts art works from her materials, creating gorgeous, durable pieces that flatter a range of shapes and sizes. Beija Beachwear’s range may include a number of items for men, but it is women that will be in their element here, and thanks to the range of designers and styles, there are prices to suit every pocket, too.
The collections can be viewed online, but most women discover these Brazilian beauties in one of the boutiques within the Klang Valley that stock the range.
“We advise people to go and try them on,” says Sen, “that way they can be certain to get the correct size and style to suit them.”
The range is expanding all the time, with the Maaji line from Columbia already adding to the South American theme and many more to come. “There is no limit on the number of brands we would like to represent,” explains Sen. “Everyday we are sourcing for more new brands.”
The reception from Malaysian women thus far has been as warm as the seas off the East Coast, and in a society that is becoming ever-more fashion conscious and determined to keep up with the trends of the world, it seems likely that Sen and the team behind Beija will inspire other eager entrepreneurs with a passion for the finer things to follow in their footsteps. Beach-holiday shopping is definitely going to get more interesting.
To read more about Beija Beachwear or view the range of mens’ and womens’ swimwear on offer, visit www.beijabeachwear.com.
This article was written by Sarah Rees for Senses of Malaysia.
Source: Senses of Malaysia July-Augt 2012
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