TWO weeks ago, I wrote about Do-It-Yourself fashion, where instead of merely designing pieces for yourself, you can also provide for an audience at the same time.
The launch of a new bag brand last week by former Miss Malaysia/Universe Elaine Daly further proves my point. The debut collection of Daly Bags features hobos, clutches and accessories like bangles and BlackBerry smartphone covers made from dyed snakeskin.
Available in black, nude, grey and bright colours, the bags are priced between RM250 and RM1,400; the accessories are from RM69. All of them will be available for sale online come end of March (you can already sign up for updates at www.thedalystore.com).
“All the bags are designed by me. I made them as simple as possible because at the end of the day, that’s how I like them as well,” shares Elaine. “My bags are suitable for day and night use, and they are classic items, can last forever (if you take care of it well) and fun, too.”
Guests at the invite-only preview in Kuala Lumpur must have had the same thoughts, as the pieces were quickly snapped up. “I was so overwhelmed by the response, not just with the turn out at the preview, but also with how much people liked the bags.
I can talk as much as I like about them, I can be the face for the brand, but at the end of the day, the products speak for themselves.” However, the use of snakeskin has raised some eyebrows.
“The snakes are all farmed in Kalimantan for this purpose (harvesting their skin). There are a lot of people who oppose to it, but there are also a lot of people who oppose to wearing leather, eating meat … there are so many people with so many different qualms.”
Elaine has always wanted to start a business, and decided that the Internet would be the perfect platform to launch her business.
“I just discovered the joys of online shopping about a year ago – I know I’m a late bloomer! My favourite online shops are www.shopbop.com, www.net-a-porter.com … and I just discovered www.fashionvalet.net,” gushes the actress.
“Starting a business is not easy. I’m basically running a one-woman show from starting up my company to licensing, taxes, banking. But we all have to start somewhere and I suppose this is a whole trial-and-error thing for me.I’m a very ambitious person, maybe too ambitious for my own good!”
An online business takes up a lot of time to manage, and I was curious as to whether her involvement in the entertainment industry might take a backseat.
“If this goes well, of course this business will be a long term thing for me. But as of now I’m still very active in the entertainment industry. I just started my new show (Bella on ntv7), I’m still hosting, acting and emceeing.”
Her initiative has gone as far as to dream of a business beyond bags. With a penchant for unique home décor and quality clothing basics, Elaine is hoping to launch Daly Home and Daly Wear in the future.
Joyce Kirsten Wong is the popular blogger also known as the Kinky Blue Fairy (www.kinkybluefairy.net). She and R.AGE’s Nasa Maria Entaban will take turns to share their fashion insights in Dress Code each week.