It began in Miami, Florida where designer Nik Faiz was in town for Arts Kuala Lumpur, an event that coincides with Art Basel and showcases some of the best emerging, mid-career and established Malaysian artists through multiple creative disciplines. As Art Basel was winding down, Nik had plans to head to New York before returning to his native Malaysia. A friend, Esther DeCew who is director, choreographer and dancer for the OsheDancer Cultural Troupe, was the first to plant the seed that he should take advantage of his time in the U.S.A. to put together a fashion show for his Ruzz Gahara brand while in New York. It is, after all, every designer’s dream to grace the runway in the fashion capital that is New York City. Fashion event producer Urban Gypsy and event promoter Herbert Fox had one week to make the show happen and they did, in Manhattan’s trendy Lower East Side venue, The DL.
It was a cold night in New York with temperatures in the teens, a far cry from the 80 degree/26 celsius weather Faiz had just left back in Florida. Despite the frigid temperatures, fashion enthusiasts came out to escape the cold onto the beautiful DL Rooftop Terrace, which has an island feel with planted palm trees and an indoor pond, for the Ruzz Gahara 2014 Cruise Line Collection Fashion Show. The show featured striking models, hand-picked by casting director, Mariela F. Gonzalez, who brought the Ruzz Gahara fabrics to life. The show style projected graceful mystery, with soothing blocked-motifs that are fresh and contemporary. The beautiful art-to-wear fabrics were a huge hit with the audience. For designer Nik Faiz, batik, both art and articulation is like blood oozing through his veins. “Batik is a technique for decorating textiles, by which parts of the textile that are not to be colored are covered in molten wax,” he explains. “The wax prevents the textile from absorbing the dye during the decorating process. So wax is the main element in batik process which would require highly skilled artisans to apply the technique on fabric.”
Having a strong heart as a batik enthusiast, Faiz cultivated the spirit of art and design in the view to further strengthen the batik industry to be a major source of income of his local community. “The main purpose of me establishing the Ruzz Gahara brand is to elevate the industry of batik in Malaysia, specifically in Kelantan (A state in the East Cost of Malaysia). My real dream is to see my very own people in the small village of Penambang in Kota Bharu Kelantan to be more involved in the business of batik that I am dealing with, and expand together with the Ruzz Gahara brand. It would be good for their economy as well as social life,” explains Faiz. Gahara owns the belief in actualizing contemporary designs to bring original root of Malaysian traditional ethnic culture into modern fashion flair.
Nik Faiz has big dreams for the brand and the plan is to take Ruzz Gahara global. “In the next five years, I would love to see Ruzz Gahara products in many major department stores worldwide including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks 5th Avenue, Harrods, Galeries Lafayette and more. Apart from that, I would love to work with world-class designers in collaboration projects using Ruzz Gahara prints.”
Nik went on to explain that the Ruzz Gahara collection has a business based on the core value of giving back to the community. “As well as helping the local community, I also like to establish a Value Chain System where our production is towards eco-friendly. That is why we established the campaign of Eco+Ethic as a guiding lines for our journey into a world renowned brand.”
Look for Ruzz Gahara to return to the U.S.A., especially New York and California, in mid-2014 for more fashion shows and fashion trade expos to introduce their 2015 collection. “We are aiming at August 2014 for a full collection show in Manhattan.” For more information on Ruzz Gahara, visit the website, www.ruzzgahara.com. Also, be sure to 'friend' on Facebook and 'follow' on Twitter and Tumblr.