By Hana Bushnaq
Bianco Mimosa is a name that is half Italian, half Malaysian. Bianco being white, and Mimosa being the Malaysian flower known as the ‘Touch Me Not’. This implies a mixed character if you will, Italian high style, with a strong adherence to a Malay identity. The brand was founded by Suraya Mustapha who holds a bachelor of Electric engineering with honors from the National University of Malaysia. Not your average background for someone in fashion! She topped that off with 20-year experience in the field as well as in industry management and business development. She was called ‘Iron Lady’ because of her active involvement in the engineering sector. Out of iron, a white flower was born. In 2013, she founded Bianco Mimosa with a mission to make it one of the leading fashion brands in the region. Due to her business relations, the first ever event of Bianco Mimosa was attended by prestigious fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Versace and Roberto Cavalli.
The brand was on occasion referred to as modern ethnic wear. This makes sense because it is distinctly Malay and very contemporary at the same time. It is accentuated by longer hems, which is characteristic of Malay traditional attire. At first glance, one would think it is almost purely ethnic, but then the up-to-date nature blatantly emerges, and the ensembles quickly regain a very fresh status in one’s conception. This is so artfully done, that the two-part identity flows harmoniously and naturally and is easily taken in. The choice of materials and prints helps with that harmony, as it lies at the crossroads between culture and innovation. Even the names that the label gives to its garments are a bit of both worlds. With names such as ‘Paradise Modern Kurung’ the outfits are proud mashups between Malay culture and present-day apparel.