The most concise way to describe my fashion style is the simple, monochrome-colored clothes with little print. This also describes KITA MADE’s T-shirts on the t-shirt (forgive the pun), as the startup sells white t-shirts with just a touch of batik print to give a touch of vitality and personality. Therefore, the attractiveness of their t-shirts for me does not require any additional explanation.
However, my colleagues, who really like the complete and intricate pieces of batik, couldn’t get their heads around it. They wondered, “Why don’t they commit to one batik shirt of all kinds or just a simple white t-shirt? “
Minimalist, but be bold
“The reason we didn’t get close to the usual way of going for a full batik button that is seen everywhere is simply because we ourselves couldn’t get it,” KITA director MADE MADE told Vulcan Post , Marcus Ling. .
The team hypothesized that there was a possibility that others shared the same problem, intimidated by the vibrant prints of the batik that can come out emaciated.
“It simply came to our notice then School principal carrying batik in the days when they distributed prizes to the assemblies. So, our designer came up with this great idea to strategically incorporate batik elements into our everyday outfit, and the rest is history, ”added Marcus.
To start making the t-shirts, the team of 3 people chose by hand the best of the locally printed batik designs they had at their disposal, taking into account the movement restrictions in 2020. They would then sew the batik fabrics on the t-shirts to come up with 2 designs featuring batik accents all over the chest or at the tip of the two shirt sleeves.
Marcus has shared that the team is currently working on a new handmade collection especially therapists and hand-drawn batik designs.
Dictionary time: Batik therapist it is the batik that is created by the method of a stamping block that prints designs on canvas.
Priced at 89 NMR per piece, I found the t-shirts quite expensive, which the team agreed was fair to think about. Their justification was that their products were made of high quality pure cotton fabric to ensure their longevity, regardless of fashion trends or wear.
“We’re lucky to receive a lot of love after their purchases, so I guess we did something right,” said Marcus, who added that the Malaysian market was surprisingly open to his designs.
Startup clients consist of young adult men who are open to trying new things. Now, also with the demands of Malaysian women, the team is looking to throw clothes that will serve this market.
This positive feedback from customers gave them the confidence to move forward with KITA MADE, especially when the team is made up of founders with no training in fashion design.
Marcus added, “I think faith came to us initially by bringing the products and really enjoying them, so we felt the need to share that feeling with everyone.”
Find a common ground
Marcus himself is a 25-year-old medical student who had recently graduated. He had returned from Moscow when there were cases of COVID-19 and his classes were changed over the Internet.
Back in Malaysia was where Marcus and 2 other friends conceptualized the possibilities of KITA MADE. It seemed an unattainable goal, seeing that the business of all industries, including fashion, was collapsing in the midst of the pandemic. He was also circulating through waves of uncertainty, as none of the boys had experience in design.
“But I clearly remember that the so-called crazy idea caused me several chills, almost like a sign of hope sown in chaotic terrain, if you will. We are all fans of different fashion looks and fortunately we have found a common love for batik fabric. So, after enough preparation and a few sleepless nights, we launched KITA MADE in January 2021, ”Marcus recalled.
But that didn’t mean the team ignored the challenges of launching a business. Lack of experience was an imminent concern, especially when they were fueled by passion but had absolutely no knowledge.
“We made a lot of mistakes in order to learn. There is no other way to open your eyes than to immerse yourself in the process “, decided Marcus.
While the pandemic was a strong catalyst for starting KITA MADE, Marcus admitted that movement restrictions have posed a challenge for the team to unleash the full potential of the business. However, Marcus is optimistic that the blockade will serve as a period of preparation for the team to make strategies for its future.
“The way we see it, we can change the way our people see batik and have KITA MADE as an option in everyone’s wardrobe and hopefully put our country on the map,” Marcus imagined.
- You can find more information about KITA MADE here.
- You can read about other startups in Malaysia here.
Featured Image Credit: KITA MADE