Daphne Iking represents 1/3 of Malaysian clothing label Baajookoo, along with two of her best friends, Atilia Haron and Yasmin Hani. The brand has received overwhelming success since it’s launch in the Malaysian fashion market since September 2012. Now, Baajookoo reached a significant milestone in its success now that both Baajookoo and Los Angeles-based brand Kyla Ruiz have collaborated.
At the launch of the Baajookoo x Kyla Ruiz collaboration, we spoke to Daphne to talk about the birth of Baajookoo, and how the collaboration with Kyla Ruiz came about.
How did Baajookoo come about and what are the designs inspired by?
Actually, it was started by Yasmin and Atilia and they were playing around with prototypes. So, there was an event where Atilia and I sabotaged Yasmin Hani’s event and then we realized, “Oh no, we’re not appropriately dressed”. So, Atilia showed me a prototype of hers and Hani told me about the idea and asked for my thoughts. Not many people know this about me, but I like sewing. So, I gave them a little direction in the design. Then Atilia said that she and Hani were thinking about asking me to join them. I asked my husband, who is also my business partner about it and suggested that the power of three is stronger. He suggested that we think hard about it because sometimes business and friendship can’t really go together. So we thought about it and then realized everyone felt the same way about it and now fast-forward to seven months, we’re collaborating with Kyla Ruiz.
What do you think helps Baajookoo stand out from upcoming local brands?
I think what makes us unique is that we concentrate on what we like to wear because when we get followers asking us where we get our clothes from. We don’t claim to be designers since we’re not designers but we’ve had enough experience working together with other designers and knowing exactly what suits our body best. Therefore, I guess Baajookoo’s unique trait is that it’s really something that we like.
Tell us about the collaboration with Kyla Ruiz. It sounds absolutely amazing.
We weren’t expecting to collaborate with anyone at all, but we’ve all been big fans of Kyla Ruiz and friends also. There was one marketing gimmick that we were doing and we thought “what if”, and here we are! It’s been a really tricky journey getting here, but we’re still very excited and we would complement each other very well!
What is your favorite piece from Baajookoo?
It has to be the Santai, which is also our most popular best-seller. It was the first design we ever tried out. We’ve also got our hooded capes. But the Santai is still my top favorite because I can make it something conservative, and it’s also very versatile which makes it my top favorite.
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