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PETALING JAYA, Nov 19 — Malaysian artist Poesy Liang has created a line of accessories to help fashionistas look their best even while masking up.
Launching Pink Yakuza has been a long-time dream for Liang and the online shopping boom that came with the Covid-19 pandemic provided a window of opportunity for the multi-talented designer to get the brand on its feet.
She is currently selling convertible chokers that can be used as face mask chains along with elegant lace masks and eye-catching brooches on Pink Yakuza's Etsy page.
Liang told Malay Mail that she was inspired to make these items based on her experience of losing a beloved fashion mask while she was at the cinema.
“I went to the cinema a few months ago and I ended up losing my face mask in the hall. I was so frustrated because it was a mask that I really liked.
“I ended up modifying a diamond necklace so I could wear the face mask around my neck.
“Everyone was really impressed by it and I set out to make something that other people could buy as well,” said Liang.
Liang — who created the luxury jewellery brand POEZ Jewellers in 2004 — wanted to make a multifunctional accessory to ensure that wearers can get good use out of it even when mask-wearing ceases to be the norm.
Besides being a chain for face masks, the chokers can double as holders for eyewear such as sunglasses or reading spectacles.
“Of course, I want the pandemic to be over. So what happens (to the chain) if mask-wearing only lasts for six more months, for example?
“I decided that the chain must be pretty enough to be worn with your Sunday best and I made sure that it can be worn multiple ways on top of being able to hold your glasses.”
Pink Yakuza’s Etsy page offers a sample of what’s to come when the brand’s official e-commerce store launches on November 19.
Liang hopes that her accessories will make attractive Christmas and Valentine’s Day gifts for women and men who may be stumped on what presents to get for the special ladies in their life.
The fashion-forward artist already has plans for Pink Yakuza’s next releases, including what she calls a “Zoom bib” to help women working from home look effortlessly chic during online meetings.
In an introduction video for Pink Yakuza, she wore a prototype of the accessory which is essentially a lace crochet top that can be paired with outfits for an extra touch of flair.
Liang was inspired to create the “Zoom bib” after hearing complaints from her female friends about how tedious it can be to dress up for online meetings.
“My lady friends find it hard to glam up before coming online so I wanted to come up with something easy that they can just put around their neck to adorn themselves.
“My aim is to design pieces that people can wear on Zoom and look formal in no time at all.”
Liang’s goal of helping women look good online has fuelled her creative drive with Pink Yakuza and she recently kicked off a month-long crowdfunding campaign on November 11 to scale up her business even further.
There are several rewards up for grabs for backers, including baseball caps from Liang's Harry Putter fashion brand and her original paintings that are worth up to US$2,900 (RM11,800).
With enough support, Liang aims to turn Pink Yakuza into a full-fledged fashion line complete with clothing items in the future.
Liang has built several social movements in the past, including the Helping Angels campaign that began in 2007 and gathered volunteers for charitable acts with no fundraising, commerce, religion, or politics involved.
She once shaved her head bald at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in 2011 as part of her Bald Empathy Movement project, which was aimed at empowering people experiencing premature hair loss due to illnesses such as cancer.
Liang continues to infuse her humanitarian philosophy into her work today and plans to collaborate with social media influencers from the differently-abled community to promote Pink Yakuza.
Once the brand goes big, she wants to create job opportunities for her fellow Malaysians who may be struggling due to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When I’m in abundance and doing well, I always make sure that I give enough work to other young artists so they can get by.
“Many people have lost their livelihoods and I heard this unmistakable calling to create job opportunities for my fellow Malaysians.
“Along the way, I want to scale up globally and offer a stepping stone for our local young creatives to thrive,” said Liang.