Malaysian stories matter. They are the triumphs, the tragedies and the values that have kept us united in isolation, grounded during untold crises and hopeful amidst uncertainty. It's hardly a surprise then that art and fashion here should reflect this, culminating in creations that are global in their appeal and local at heart.
In honour of Malaysia's National Day this year, we turn the spotlight on three homegrown jewellery brands that are uniquely different in their offerings but that share the unspoken themes of home, hope and strength that all Malaysians hold dear.
The social enterprise: Fugeelah
In May 2021, social enterprise Fugeelah's first ever Eid collection, Peace and Power launched in collaboration with actress and entrepreneur Siti Saleha, received an overwhelming response from buyers who resonated with the brand's impact-driven ethos, 'Wear your change'. Boasting necklaces and broaches inscribed with the Arabic words for 'love', 'peace', 'hope' and 'strength', the collection was all about reconnecting with what's important in life.
The 'Lah' necklace and broach were a part of this exciting project: a playful and pretty ode to the popular, quintessentially Malaysian slang word.
"We started this year thinking about what’s next for Fugeelah in terms of the design of our jewellery," explains Fugeelah founder and human rights advocate Deborah Henry. "I had a chat with my team about what that would look like, what people might like, what they would wear, what would get them excited and say 'That’s cute, I’d wear it or give it as a gift'. We were looking at things that were uniquely Malaysian, going through Malaysian symbols and what they meant, when one of our team members said that it would be nice to have the word 'Lah' as a necklace."