White Christmas meets vintage Malaysian motifs in Nala Designs’ winter wonderland

Nala Designs founder and creative director Lisette Scheers’ latest collection is inspired by vintage mooncake moulds and Malay jewellery. — Pictures by Shafwan Zaidon
Nala Designs founder and creative director Lisette Scheers’ latest collection is inspired by vintage mooncake moulds and Malay jewellery. — Pictures by Shafwan Zaidon

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PETALING JAYA, Dec 14 — Mooncakes for Christmas? With Lisette Scheers of Nala Designs, you can always expect the unexpected.

This yuletide season, the beloved lifestyle brand, known for its hand-drawn colourful prints, seeks inspiration from vintage Chinese mooncake moulds combined with Malay intan (rose-cut diamonds) jewellery in a collection named ‘Over the Moon’.

Scheers, Nala Designs’ founder and creative director stumbled upon the old antique moulds while visiting a flea market in Kuching last year.

On top of a wide variety of stocking fillers that include apparels for men and women, bags, purses, cushion covers, oven mitts and pot holders, the 48-year-old is particularly proud of being given the chance to take charge of Bangsar Village’s mall décor.

“I hate winter, but I love snow. I miss it so this is my own snowstorm,” Scheers said, referring to a massive Christmas adornment featuring unique oblong cloud-like motifs which looms above her pop-up store at the concourse.

Scheers and her team spent an entire night creating the all-white decoration and an additional day to set up.

Scheers stands below a Christmas mall decoration inspired by falling snow which she designed for Bangsar Village.
Scheers stands below a Christmas mall decoration inspired by falling snow which she designed for Bangsar Village.

Over the years, Nala’s Malaysian-inspired flora and fauna prints have become iconic among supporters of homegrown labels.

For Scheers, every bit of the brand is a reflection of her personality and a tenacious desire to document all things Malaysian through her designs.

“As you can see, it’s just crazy and it doesn’t stop — that definitely reflects who I am, I feel like I’m on a time limit. I’m 48 and I’m on a mission, I have to get it all out before I die.

“I need to cover every aspect of Malaysian life and I’m worried I’m going to forget one,” she said.

Scheers, a Dutch-national born in Singapore and raised in Malaysia, previously worked in advertising and the food and beverage (F&B) industry before starting with her own line of stationery that grew into the multi-product label it is today.

As Nala Designs turns 10, fans can look forward to more offerings next year including cheongsams with flared skirts, crockery and more home furnishing items.

Looking back on her decade-long venture into the retail scene, Scheers said it is the toughest business to be in.

“The most important lesson that I’ve learned now that I need to live off this, is every cent counts and what is really important in retail is not what you sell, it’s how you buy and that’s how the difficult part — it’s all about numbers,” she said.

A variety of stocking fillers are available including men’s and women’s apparels, home furnishings and fashion accessories.
A variety of stocking fillers are available including men’s and women’s apparels, home furnishings and fashion accessories.

The payoff for a once-humble paper craft brand that has now spread its wings as far as Thailand where it opened 10 stores as part of a venture with Central Department Store last month, Nala Designs can also be found in France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cambodia.

“I like to believe my clothes have a certain a soul to it. My heart and soul are in every single thing that you see here.

“Everyone I know, when they wear it they all say it makes them happy,” she said.

Visit Nala Designs’ pop-up store from now until January 2 at Bangsar Village.

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