Get lost...in Atelier Fitton
Have you ever witnessed trees in a deep green mangrove suddenly part ways in awe of your royal arrival aboard a yacht, wearing an awning striped pantsuit? I’m guessing no. At this point you’re probably thinking: “who’d be crazy enough to wear an awning striped pantsuit in the mangroves?” And you’re right. You’re supposed to wear a gingham patterned suit. The shape of the trees wouldn’t match the lines of your stripes. Onto a more realistic note, whether you’re sailing through the mangroves in a golden yacht or attending a quick small dinner with friends, Atelier Fitton has got you covered, ensuring that anyone, lavished in their designs, always looks effortlessly sophisticated and feels impeccably comfortable no matter the occasion.
Started in 2013, this menswear and womenswear brand puts compassion in clothing first. They understand that the scorching Malaysian heat and humidity can easily turn a beauty, as she leaves the house, into a beast as she arrives and vice versa. It all depends on your luck I guess… so fear not, you won’t be needing that teh-o-ice to escape the heat.
Fitton designs undergo a meticulous selection of fabrics and looks that represent Malaysian history such as the arrival of the British 3 generations ago in the mangroves of Malaya. The brand grips tightly to Malaysian roots to throw male and female fashion enthusiasts into a completely different world as they glide through soft flowing silks and breathable cotton that sport a collection of body hugging suits, plush formal shirts, beautiful shirt-dresses and sleek pants, all of which come off the rack or are custom made by the very founder and creative director himself, Joshua Fitton. It is no wonder that Atelier Fitton has been obsessively embraced by Malaysians from
popular actors such as Awal Ashari and Peter Hugh Davis to social media influencers such as Sabrina Iskandar.
How did all this come together?
Beyond its rapid uptake in the market, Atelier Fitton is a young brand that is coming into its 5th year of existence, having started from very humble beginnings. No, seriously. The brand has managed to start from scratch and create a name for itself without any capital injections nor paid marketing to get them to where they elegantly stand today. Joshua began his pursuit of fashion from initially selling printed T-shirts on streets across Malaysia after completing his masters in architecture. Sweating profusely along his side in that same booth, occasionally, was none other than Misha Shah, now managing director of Atelier Fitton who accounts for and markets the brand. A businesswoman so powerful the devil says, “oh f*ck she’s awake”, as she gets out of bed. Misha had 2 years ago decided to reclaim her long-lost love for fashion from having studied Fashion Merchandising in Melbourne by joining forces with Joshua.
The struggle was real but a struggle I’m sure would resonate deeply with aspiring fashion entrepreneurs. “It was just youtube, books and finding tailor uncles in malls who had nothing better to do”, Joshua casually explains as I cry shamefully on the inside, who also advises to jump right into the deep end. In contrast, Misha, who has seen her fair share of strife and surprises in driving the company forward suggests to “go get some experience before you start on your own, it’d be so much easier when you open your own business one day”, after recalling the anxiety of scrambling to learn the essentials while simultaneously attempting to keep the business afloat.
It is clear that their complementary skills, Joshua of design and Misha of accounting and marketing, has been the vehicle of their success, fueled by their insatiable desire to constantly learn, grow and innovate.
Q: What are they like?
I had a first-row taster of how the two worked, popcorn and drinks included. I’m just kidding, there was no popcorn but imagine if we did have it for fashion shows…
A typical conversation would go a little something along the lines of:
Joshua: Hey let’s do this…
Misha: We can’t do that
Joshua: Why not?
Misha: Because… we can’t
Unlike the rest of us normal humans who would curl up in a corner and ponder on the meaning of life, Joshua’s short attention span would move on to the next grand idea he plucks out of Narnia. Joshua would enter a limbo realm of self-exploration and intense research, disappearing at times into a coffee shop just above the atelier. He’d extrapolate from his English and Malay roots to illustrate stories that eventually seep into every thread of every design. Like moss, walls in the studio (including Misha’s desk) would be rapidly covered with swatches of materials and printouts of ideas that translated into a multitude of sketches. Sketches that’d be sent Misha’s way to get the go or no go.
On the other hand, if he played his cards right at times, he’d somehow be able to convince Misha to partake in ludicrous inventions. Picture Misha helping him to feed a ginormous piece of fabric into a sewing machine to make a tent. A tent! Let me remind you, they don’t sell tents. I’ll leave this here…
Get out of bed and get your insta game on!
So why are you wasting any more time?! Not only do the clothes feel like a second skin and founders wonderfully down-to-earth, the Atelier Fitton store is the perfect place to match that Fitton outfit you just bought with their jazzy, speakeasy studio in newly restored 1950s shophouses by Kampung Attap as the background of your new, talk-of-the-town insta-pic. You’re welcome fashion-grammers. #ootd The streets are not made for everyone, which is why they made sidewalks. Joshua and Misha are the true real life example how authenticity, kindness and hard work will get you everywhere. From streets to suits, we look forward to what these two will come up with in the
next collection of Atelier Fitton. Stay tuned!
Credit: Zuriel Zulkifli