The Business of Fashion with Shopee Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week

Contrary to popular belief, Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW) is not just a platform for designers to walk the runway. The organization has a series of initiatives aimed at developing the fashion industry further in Malaysia. One such effort is a business talk organized for its network of homegrown fashion designers. Entitled the Business of Fashion, the talk featured reputable speakers from the digital and retail industry, including Southeast Asia and Taiwan’s no. 1 e-commerce marketplace, Shopee together with Facebook, Boost and Common Ground
The event, held last week, Feb. 21, 2019 at Common Ground Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur; saw the panel of speakers providing their insights into how the designers and fashion start-ups can ride on the digital wave, sharing on how the new and old business models can adapt better in the ever-evolving business landscape.

(L-R):  MS Cheah Lee Sun (Shopee), Mr Arjun Sarwal (Facebook), Ms Sashya Pasupathy (Shopee), Mr Andrew Tan (KLFW), Ms Ungku Norliza Syazwan Ungku Halmie (Boost), Ms Ms. Ru Sow (Common Ground)

(L-R): MS Cheah Lee Sun (Shopee), Mr Arjun Sarwal (Facebook), Ms Sashya Pasupathy (Shopee), Mr Andrew Tan (KLFW), Ms Ungku Norliza Syazwan Ungku Halmie (Boost), Ms Ms. Ru Sow (Common Ground)

Apart from being the perfect host to Symposia – the first ever Business of Fashion talk conducted jointly by Shopee Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week; Ms. Ru Sow, Head of Operations at Common Ground enlightened us about their challenges and experiences in starting a business and how co-working spaces like Common Ground could further benefit the start-up ecosystem by helping them optimize resources through the reduction of operating costs. As she highlighted key points to look for during any start-ups, we were introduced to Aida from Lanna Cosmetics and Nabilah Mohd. Isa, Founder of Muka & Co who similarly shared stories of their growth and how being in a co-working space like Common Ground gave them the right networking opportunities and business support to propel their Brands to what they are today! 

Shopee, Ms Sashya Pasupathy

Shopee, Ms Sashya Pasupathy

Lanna Cosmetics   , Ms Aida
Common Ground, Ms. Ru Sow

Common Ground, Ms. Ru Sow

Muka & Co   , Ms Nabilah Mohd. Isa

Muka & Co, Ms Nabilah Mohd. Isa

Next up, we have Industry Lead for Digital Natives of Facebook Singapore, Arjun Sarwal who spoke about the fundamentals and impacts of online advertising and digital marketing in achieving real business outcomes. Mobile advertising helps unlock opportunity and results for brands in reaching targeted audiences and achieving maximum and impactful exposures for the brands.

After a quick Q&A with Arjun Sarwal, we were introduced to the Brand Manager of Shopee Malaysia, Sashya Pasupathy, who explained how Shopee serves as a platform with a 360 sales and marketing solution for brands and businesses. Sellers can also join forces with the marketplace to boost sales by leveraging off its campaigns, marketing communications channels and more. She also shed light on the logistics and fulfillment services the platform offers to sellers on its platform. At this point, we can see that the audience was fully involved with what Sashya had to say as we went into a long Q&A Session and participants were encouraged to ask their questions on screen via a Digital Q&A Forum. Toward the end of the session, Sashya revealed a long list of Designers from Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week that have successfully joined the Shopee portal and with much anticipation, we look forward to seeing more of Projek Jahat, Zero to Ten, Supercrew, Private Stitch, Three, Poplook, Tarik, Thavia, Mag Lifestyle, Jubahsouq and Justinc Chew at  Shopee!

Facebook, Mr Arjun Sarwal

Facebook, Mr Arjun Sarwal


Presenting on the future of E-Wallet was Ungku Norliza Syazwan Ungku Halmie, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Finance, Operations, and Support from Boost Malaysia who shared interesting insights and worldwide trend of going cashless. She also discussed the benefits of going cashless, particularly for budding start-ups and SMEs. 


In 2018, KLFW and Shopee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner up with the intention of expanding the fashion community in Malaysia. With the help of Shopee, KLFW hopes to provide the designers with the necessary tools and knowledge to expand their customer reach as well as the knowhow on running a sustainable and successful brand online.