What are the biggest challenges you've faced in your career?
"Having an idea is great but executing an idea is incredibly difficult. One of the biggest challenges I sometimes face is being able to properly translate my thoughts and ideas to someone else so we can execute it. In that level, communication is key, but communication is also very difficult. Working in XIXILI, communicating the brand’s message to others is also a task, given that Malaysia is a very conservative country. Aside from that, we have to consider that our local and international market is made up of people that have different languages and cultures. And speaking to women of different cultures is very difficult — different people will perceive things differently. There’s a lot of limitations on what we can do. But that actually turned out to be a great thing, because it pushed us to be creative with what we do."
In what other ways does XIXILI help encourage women empowerment?
"Aside from our extensive size range, we also offer other products like nursing undergarments and other accessories to help women be more comfortable with their body, health, and sexuality. This year, we’ve done fashion shows and it was the first time we included plus-size and pregnant models. We also organise drives to bring awareness to breast cancer."
Let's talk about XIXILI's fashion show featuring women of all shapes and sizes. How does it feel to work behind the scenes of such an event?
"We had that idea for a couple of years now, we thought that maybe there’d be some kind of backlash, but we thought that conveying our message was more important. Still, it was hard for us to find people who’d be keen to walk the show. In Malaysia, we don’t have a lot of plus-size models who’d be willing to walk in lingerie — actually, for some models, it was the first time they’ve ever walked the catwalk so that terrified me before the show. But it actually went great. One of the models almost tripped and the crowd cheered for her. After the show, we heard positive comments. It was incredible to be part of it. It makes me so proud of the models, of the team who executed this, and of the audience as well who received it so well and showed so much support."