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Alta Moda Sarawak could be a successful yearly event for Sarawak: Abdul Karim

While Sarawak has firmly established itself as THE place to go for world music, and as a Culture, Adventure and Nature destination (did you know Gunung Mulu National Park was a UNESCO World Heritage site?), it aims to be the leading fashion hub in this region with the upcoming lifestyle and fashion event ALTA MODA SARAWAK.

Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he was confident that ALTA MODA SARAWAK would become a successful yearly event to promote the state as a leading fashion hub in Asean and beyond.

“The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. This is because it involves a big group of people coming from all work and backgrounds, including those from production to design and marketing.

“There are also those who are making a good living out of writing, analyzing, shooting, commenting and blogging about fashion,” he said during a recent press conference at Restaurant Budaya Sarawak.

He added that the event could attract potential tourism and merchandise buyers domestically and internationally in support of Sarawakian designers and artists.

“It is therefore good for ALTA MODA SARAWAK to have the objective of promoting Sarawak as a state of diversity with different ethnic groups and cultures.”

Additionally, Abdul Karim believed that the event could be one of the catalysts and key players in helping to boost tourist traffic to Sarawak under the state’s tourism initiatives, which is why the Ministry suggested moving it from October last year to March 2019.

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“This is to give more time for the organisers to make it a grand affair in conjunction with our ‘Visit Sarawak Campaign’ objectives.”

He also noted that ALTA MODA SARAWAK might be one of the last few events to be held at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Building before it will be closed for renovations to transform it into a performing arts centre.

Abdul Karim (center) speaking to the press at Restaurant Budaya Sarawak on Feb 2.
ALTA MODA SARAWAK as a brand platform for Sarawak’s designers

The Sarawak fashion industry has seen a gradual boom over recent years.

Abdul Karim said, “We too have our very own designers whose meteoric rise is something to be proud of. These include names like Paul Carling, Anna Sue, Ben Nazry, Melinda Omar, Sereni & Shentel, Latip’s Collection and more. With ALTA MODA SARAWAK, I hope that their star continues to rise.”

The organisers of ALTA MODA SARAWAK are confident that the designers taking part will be able to establish themselves as the fashion and lifestyle brands to be reckoned with and help propel the growth of Sarawak’s fashion industry.

“This development will, in return, be able to attract more tourist traffic into Sarawak and create demand for a growing domestic industry among the talented artisans and skillful beads craftsmen,” he said.

Meanwhile, ALTA MODA SARAWAK organising chairperson Datin Esther Mujan Balan said the organising team was excited to be holding the event in conjunction with Visit Sarawak Campaign, with the support and partnership from the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and Sarawak Tourism Board.

“We are determined and focused for ALTA MODA SARAWAK to be a successful yearly event to promote Sarawak as a leading fashion hub in Southeast Asia and attract potential tourism and merchandise buyers domestically and internationally for our Sarawakian designers and artists.”

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She stated, “Another objective of the event is to provide up and rising Sarawakian designers the opportunity to make their mark in their own country rather than having to go abroad to make a name for themselves. It also aims to give local fashion followers the chance to have ‘high fashion at their doorstep.’”

Besides Abdul Karim, the three-day event is expected to be attended by the Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife of the Governor of Sarawak Toh Puan Ragad Waleed Alkurdi.

The press conference also saw a short runway show featuring 11 out of the 24 designers that will be participating during ALTA MODA SARAWAK.

MARK YOU CALENDARS: The inaugural ALTA MODA SARAWAK will be held at the old State Legislative Assembly Building, Kuching on Mar 7 to 9.

Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.
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