GEORGE TOWN, Aug 5 — A Penang designer, Kenny Loh, known for his Baba Nyonya kebaya collections, has partnered with Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) to launch limited-edition Nyonya beaded shoe collection today.
The Kenny Loh X MAG Sustainable Tomorrow Kasut Manik, handcrafted with 2,000 beads each pair, comes in three colours of red, blue and green.
“There are only 24 pairs per colour so only 72 pairs are available under the collection,” Loh said.
He said he was initially in discussions with MAG to place his products in MAG’s e-commerce platform, Journify, before they approached him about upcycling materials from Malaysia Airlines’ batik kebaya.
“They wanted to do something with batik kebaya materials from their previous uniforms as they have changed their uniform designs, he said.
Loh had proposed using the materials to form the base for Nyonya beaded shoes and MAG agreed with his proposal.
“I started designing it early this year and since it is a pilot project, there are only limited pairs in four different sizes available,” he said.
The beaded shoes, available from sizes EU 37 to 41, are only for sale on Journify.
The shoes sport two-inch block heels with diamond motifs that were inspired by traditional Nyonya kueh.
At the launch of the shoes today, MAG group chief sustainability officer Philip See said the collaboration with Loh will reduce waste while at the same time educate the newer generation on the local craft scene and its artisans.
Loh said he was honoured that MAG chose to work with him to upcycle Malaysia Airlines’ high-quality batik kebaya.
“These kasut manik will not only be a fashionable statement but also an appreciation for the artisans who are continuing the traditional craft of beading,” he said.
Last month, Loh had also designed several kebaya specifically for the Firefly cabin crew in conjunction with George Town’s Unesco World Heritage Day.
MAG has been taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint including bio-composting food waste from flights, enhancing fuel efficiency measures, repurposing scrapped aircraft parts into new products, using sustainable aviation fuel and organising a sustainable fashion show featuring bespoke luxury handbags by local designer Theselina.