Malaysia Aviation Group ventures into sustainable fashion with Perakan-inspired footwear
Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) has teamed up with local designer Kenny Loh to launch a limited edition beaded shoe collection in George Town, Penang. The collection was launched with the aim of preserving Peranakan heritage, culture and traditions through eco-friendly efforts and revitalizing the local craft scene and its artisans through recycling initiatives.
The Kenny Loh x MAG Sustainable Tomorrow Kasut Manik (beaded shoes) features a blend of skilled heritage craftsmanship using recycled materials from Malaysia Airlines’ iconic batik kebaya. Each pair of shoes is 100% handmade with 2,000 beads by local artisans at Kenny Loh Couture. Although traditionally worn as flats, this partnership offers a modern take on two-inch block heels that are designed to suit the needs of today’s women. Inspired by the traditional Nyonya kueh (Peranakan candies and sweet desserts), the diamond patterns on the shoe were introduced to encapsulate the rich heritage of the Peranakans and maintain an increasingly endangered craftsmanship.
The shoes are available in three colors including Penang Green, Singapore Red and Melaka Blue. Named after the three settlements on the Malay Peninsula that became home to the Peranakan community, the green, red and blue combine to create a vibrant Peranakan design and the colors of Malaysia Airlines.
Each shoe color was chosen to symbolize its own meaning, with green representing growth and renewal; red for passion, wealth and luck; and blue for tranquility and healing. A batik A dust bag created from recycled materials from the famous Malaysia Airlines kebaya is also included with the purchase of the sneakers. Thanks to Journify, a travel, lifestyle and e-commerce platform from MAG, these handcrafted beaded shoes will be offered on myjournify.com.
Philip See, MAG Group Sustainability Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kenny Loh to jointly reduce waste while educating the next generation about the local craft scene and its artisans. Sustainability is at the forefront of MAG’s long-term business plan 2.0, as we aim to become Asia’s leading travel and services group. We will promote socio-economic development to gradually achieve our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Loh added: “I am truly honored to be part of MAG’s sustainability story. Not only are we reducing waste by recycling high-quality materials from Malaysia Airlines’ iconic batik kebaya, but I am extremely humbled by MAG’s efforts to preserve and protect the history and heritage of the Baba Nyonya culture,”
“These Kasut Manik (beaded shoes) will not only be a fashion statement, but also an appreciation for artisans who carry on the traditional craft of beadwork. In July 2022, Kenny Loh designed several amazing kebaya created specifically for Firefly’s cabin crew who flew to and from several areas such as Subang, Penang, Alor Setar, Terengganu, Kota Bharu and Langkawi Island on the of UNESCO World Heritage Day 2022 in George Town. ,” he added.
This isn’t the first time MAG has ventured onto the fashion scene. Most recently, its subsidiary, Malaysia Airlines, partnered with Kapten Batik, a local fashion brand, through its travel and lifestyle loyalty program, Enrich, to create a “timeless” and eco-friendly capsule collection consisting of of fashion clothes and lifestyle pieces. The limited-edition collection included six handcrafted garments and accessories, including men’s and juniors’ slim shirts, women’s Egyptian dress, lunch bag, tote bag and face mask. The fabric in the collection has been made from sustainable materials and hand dyed with natural colors. According to MAG, the collection was launched as part of its broader commitment to a sustainable future, as it continues to make conscious efforts to minimize environmental impacts within our traveler ecosystem.
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