KL Fashion Week Designer Spotlight: Twenty3 | Clozette

(cover photo from @twenty3my)


An online fashion destination for girls who embrace femininity in all shapes and sizes, at the heart of Twenty3 is ambition and strength. Registering the name when she was, you guessed it, 23 years old, founder Sherlyn Tan did so to remind herself of her dreams of creating her own company, even when she didn’t know what type it would be yet.


Twenty3 founder, Sherylyn Tan

She says, “I just wanted something that could financially support my dream of being a performing artist. I had sold pre-loved clothing through my old blog and had a good eye for what Malaysian girls liked, so I decided to turn Twenty3 into a blogshop selling the latest trends. It’s since grown to become one of the largest omnichannel fashion brands in the country!”

And grown it has as the label is set to showcase its latest collection at Kuala Lumpur Ready To Wear Fashion Week this August 2016. To contain our excitement for her show, we caught up with Sherlyn and got her talking about the story behind Twenty3, the brand’s aesthetic and ideals, and of course, what to expect at her runway show at KLFW!

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How did your love for fashion come about? Was it always a dream for you to start your own label?

I registered the name Twenty3 at the age of 23 to remind myself of my ambition of creating my own company, without even knowing what sort of business it would be. I just wanted something that could financially support my dream of being a performing artist. I had sold pre-loved clothing through my old blog and had a good eye for what Malaysian girls liked, so I decided to turn Twenty3 into a blogshop selling the latest trends. It’s since grown to become one of the largest omnichannel fashion brands in the country!

Can you share the story behind Twenty3? How did the idea for the label first come about?

With only RM5000, I began by reselling stocks purchased from Bangkok, before trying my hand at simple designs. I quickly realised that the brand wouldn’t grow very far with just my limited technical fashion knowledge, so I hired young, hungry fashion designers with the aim of turning Twenty3 into a platform to merge their creativity with our fast fashion efficiency. Sher by Twenty3 and Lin by Twenty3 are just two brands that were created by our talented design team.
How would you describe the brand’s aesthetic? Is there a certain style you stick to, or do you aim to cater to a wide variety of styles?

Drawing on the designers’ combined experience from their time at Khoon Hooi with Rick Owens, Sher by Twenty3 offers a sleek, dark minimalist look with strong, sharp edges outlining structured garments that are embellished with modern beadings, giving the illusion of a stunning flash of lightning against a dark stormcloud.

Lin by Twenty3, on the other hand, is inspired by the designers’ training with Mary Katrantzou and Leonardo Salinas – digital prints, bright colors, feminine lace, and layered ruffles. [It’s] a visual representation of the eternal optimist; the belle of the ball.



You aim to “embrace femininity in all shapes and sizes,” which is a great step in this industry. Can you elaborate on your story behind wanting that particular ideal to shape your brand? Why do you think it’s important to embrace all shapes and sizes in fashion?

The ugliest dress will shine if accessorised with a smile and a healthy dose of confidence in one’s own skin. The first step comes from acceptance of oneself. I still struggle with this on my bad days, and my mind gets muddied by thoughts of how I’m not good enough, or not pretty enough, etc. But society’s chase for perfectionism breeds homogeneity – not only does that imply that we have to agree on a common ideal, but it’s also boring from a creative standpoint! Beauty comes from within, not from standards set from without.


What has been the best part about launching Twenty3, and what has been the most challenging? How has the brand changed since its launch two years ago?



My biggest success is winning the Alliance Bank SME Innovation Challenge 2015, the biggest entrepreneurial award for SMEs in the country. Seeing my colleagues go out of their way to come up with creative ways to canvass for votes, all fighting for the same goal, was very rewarding. Building a business from scratch is a long, lonely, and thankless road, so it was very encouraging to receive that recognition from senior business leaders such as Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin of EcoWorld. It’s given me the drive to push Twenty3 even further in 2016.

[My biggest challenge happened in] early 2015: I faced a barrage of social media bashings, falsely accusing me of reselling stocks I’d purchased through Taobao. It was a big blow not just to me – I was suffering from depression and low self-esteem – but also to the reputation of the brand, which is the most important thing in retail. It was then that I decided to accelerate my plan to convert Twenty3 into a local designer label. Thankfully, we were then given the opportunity to present our first designer collection from Sher by Twenty3 at KLFW 2015, and the subsequent media coverage really helped elevate the branding.

Looking back, two years ago I was a naïve girl with a dream, slogging away as a one-woman show. Today, I’m the proud leader of a talented team of nearly 30 dreamers, all fighting together to create the next big Malaysian fashion brand!



What should people expect from your runway show at KLFW. Is there a certain design philosophy or look you’ll be conveying on the runway?


Our design philosophy conveys strength in femininity. We explored that theme in our debut show for Sher by Twenty3 last year, and we’ll further explore that theme this year, with a deeper reflection on the feminine identity within a hyper-masculine world. On the other hand, Lin by Twenty3 will envision the polar opposite: an ethereal world ruled by women, where demureness and ultra-femininity are virtues to be flaunted and celebrated as symbols of strength.

What else can we expect from Twenty3 in the coming months or years. Where do you see your brand headed?

The fashion industry will move more towards sustainability, so that’s something that we will explore in the near future. We’d also like to push the brand abroad: our online store has shipped to 40,000 customers from across 20 countries already, but we’d like to establish a physical foothold in some of those markets.

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Don't miss out on Twenty3 at KL Fashion Week Ready To Wear 17 - 21 August at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

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We know how stressful it can get when planning outfits for different occasions and events that will occur back-to-back. “Do you pair these shoes with this dress,” or “Should you go short or long for this event” – the list of questions goes on and on.

Luckily, luxury fashion retailer NET-A-PORTER will solve all your special occasion fashion woes with Self-Portrait: a fresh and feminine brand founded by Malaysian-born designer Han Chong that bridges the gap between ‘high fashion’ and ‘high street’. With its charming cocktail wear filled with lace, sheer overlays, and a ton of intricate embroidery, it’s no wonder why celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Miranda Kerr, and Reese Witherspoon are some of the brand’s clientele!

If you want to stand out in every occasion you attend and want to go beyond a typical shift dress, keep reading below for our picks from Self-Portrait’s collection of ethereal-meets-high-fashion pieces!


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For a bridal shower or bachelorette party: Tiered broderie anglaise-trimmed crepe maxi dress



Add a little spice to the bridal showers and bachelorette parties you attend with this navy crepe dress. Whether you wear it with heels or sandals, its elegant sleeves and tiered lace skirt will keep you looking stylish from day to night!

For “desk to disco”: Off-the-shoulder cutout ponte jumpsuit



Jumpsuits are great as a work OOTD because they’re only one piece, meaning you won’t have to go through the hassle of mixing and matching tops and bottoms. So if you want your jumpsuit to go from “desk to disco” (aka from work to cocktail hour), this red off-the-shoulder will definitely become a staple in your work wardrobe!


For fashion events: Floral-appliquéd tulle and georgette mini dress



Fashion events are where you can get creative. By combining Victorian-inspired lace with fresh and contemporary details , this navy tulle dress will ensure that all eyes are on you even if you’re not strutting down the runway!


For a reunion with your college besties: Guipure lace, crepe and tulle mini dress



A reunion between gals is always fun and exciting, so why not show off your strong fashion sense with this mini lace, crepe and tulle dress? Its waistband will elegantly show off your figure, and it’s soft bohemian vibe is right on top of the 70’s fashion trend that’s dominating the streets and the catwalks.


For a summer wedding: Guipure lace midi dress



At any wedding you attend, we guarantee you will always look your best in this sky blue midi dress. Its floral patterns will complement the bright rays of summer, while its lace trims will softly accentuate and highlight your curves!

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Want to get your hands on one (or all) of these frocks? Then click here to shop Self-Portrait's collection at NET-A-PORTER!

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Summer is slowly slipping away and before we even know it, we're faced another school year. Now before you start thinking about homework and, well, more homework, we have to admit that there are a lot of things to look forward to in school.

One of those things is finally having an excuse to take out those cute fashion pieces that's been hiding in your closet while you frolicked around in beachwear for the past couple of months. There's also planning out which personal essentials you'll bring to school for the next 10 months which is a pretty big deal.  

With that said, how can we forget the holy grail of all school essentials that just puts everything together-- your school bag. From carrying our school survival kit to keeping all of our ultimate school secrets (like notes from our crush), picking out the right school bag is undeniably a significant task. 

That's why we listed our top bag picks that don't compromise style and functionality to make sure you're all set for that school year ahead!

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A classic satchel



Satchels give off an incredibly versatile vibe that's perfect even for after-school plans with your friends. Plus, the satchel's signature cover flap not only adds to one of its stylish elements but also gives our belongings another layer of security.

The ever-so-reliable messenger bag


(photo from juliaantoinette)


Whether you're a fan of the sling or the backstrap version, messenger bags have earned their spot in every back-to-school bag list for good reason. Spacious, simply chic, and perfect for all types of weather, you don't have to worry about keeping your stuff organised while keeping in style with this pick!



A chic tote bag



(photo from CelineChiam)


From laptops to notebooks to your makeup pouch, totes are definitely the way to go. Whether you're going for a casual ensemble or you're all dressed up for an important project presentation, this bag is perfect for either occasion. Plus, it's still reliable when you move on to job hunting and even as you venture into the working world!



A simple drawstring bag



Drawstrings are perfect for school festivals or trips because of its casual yet stylish look. Whether you're packing clothes or snacks, this can work wonders for you in terms of space and weight. 


The good ol' backpack


(photo from Meowissa)


Are you a one-strapper or a two-strapper? With its stylishly geeky feel and tried-and-tested functionality, there's no denying that backpacks bag the crown for the ultimate back-to-school must-have!


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Which of our back-to-school bag picks are you going to sport this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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