Knitted in relation to the cut and design for the silhouettes of Asian women, she launched this fashion brand

Knitted in relation to the cut and design for the silhouettes of Asian women, she launched this fashion brand

[This is a sponsored article with hello ronron.]

There’s a new brand in Malaysia that hopes to impact the wardrobes of modern, active women in Southeast Asia.

It’s called hello ronron, but it’s no ordinary office wear brand, it’s knitwear. Commonly described as frumpy clothing in the literary media, it seems hello purr hopes to help subvert that perception.

Looking into the brand’s ethos, it’s clear the team is serious about making quality knitwear. But with Malaysia’s climate being the most distant example of sweater weather, one has to wonder why knit in particular?

To understand the brand, you must first know its founder.

Take knitting seriously

Angela Chiang studied Fashion Design and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in the UK.

Image Credit: hello purr

It is a world-renowned university for teaching arts and design that has produced various notable alumni like fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.

There, Angela studied women’s clothing design and textile patterns, which taught her how to work with various fabrics and trims, screen printing, digital textile printing, and more.

Professionally, she worked for fashion companies in London during her studies before moving to Taiwan to work for a fashion house.

“During my time working at the fashion house, consulting with clients, the design process and the fitting processes were always some of my favorite parts of the job,” Angela recalls fondly.

Image Credit: hello purr

As she worked, the idea of ​​starting her own fashion business slowly began to take shape.

In a sentiment perhaps most connected to fashion designers, she explained, “I found myself greatly inspired by the life that clients lead wearing the piece of design that we made, [beyond] just the aesthetics or functions of the room.

Wanting to have a piece of it to really call it, hello ronron was born.

For a bit of trivia, Angela informed us that the word “purr” is the name they gave to women wearing the hello purr, who is someone who is happy, confident, quirky, inspiring, and who radiates to both courage and grace.

She is you, but she can also represent your friends, sisters, mothers and daughters.

For seamless silhouettes and styles

Angela went into market research with a solid understanding of customer behaviors, thanks to her previous experience in the fashion industry.

She knew what her clients (modern working women) encountered in their daily routine and how the clothes they wore impacted their lifestyle.

At the same time, she herself faced challenges in finding knitwear of a specific style. In particular, she was looking for a minimalist fit that flattered SEA women’s figures, felt comfortable, was made of quality materials, was easy to care for and was breathable enough for warmer weather.

Image Credit: hello purr

So, with hello purr, she wanted to tick all those boxes, and designing designs to suit the modern silhouettes of Southeast Asian women made perfect sense.

To do this, she researched historical fashion and created pieces that resemble the cut and silhouette designs of kebaya (Malay), qipao/cheongsam (Chinese), áo dài (Vietnamese) and other classics of the inheritance.

Specifically, these pieces create a silhouette that elongates the lower body, visually shortens the upper torso, enhances the waist, and creates a flattering proportion for the ratio of the neckline to the shoulders.

Image Credit: hello purr

There’s a lot more hello ronron’s designs want to do too: without showing too much skin or being too tight, they make the wearer feel attractive, feminine and comfortable.

Angela described it as a garment “where the wearer will feel comfortable transitioning from work to play, [the] meeting room at happy hours, visiting in-laws at a special dinner for two”.

This versatility is made possible by features such as adjustable straps, necklines, buttonable skirt slits, and more.

Thread the needle

Getting back to the conversation about knitwear not being made for Malaysia’s hot and humid weather, Angela was quick to tell us that there are different knitwear materials made for sunny weather, in fact.

A few examples are cotton knit (breathable and soft), viscose knit (drapy and silky) and linen knit (airy and light), which can be locally versatile everyday essentials.

Angela is also experimenting with fits ranging from detailed cable knit to dynamic mouliné tricot, including double layering the neckline to retain its shape after washes.

Image Credit: hello purr

hello ronron’s products are all designed in-house by her, and she goes through several sample prototypes with her knitwear manufacturer in Shanghai to refine them into finalized products.

“As a startup, my business doesn’t have economies of scale at the moment, and all of our products are made in small batches,” Angela explained.

While committing to producing completely custom-designed products from scratch will no doubt come at a higher cost to the startup, she also assured:

“I believe in investing in R&D to create the right pattern fit for SEA women’s silhouettes, and crafting only with good quality materials and garment construction – and I will continue to do so.”

In Angela’s words, a well-made, well-designed product will stand the test of time, and that’s also their approach to sustainable fashion.

Knit from start to finish

The transition from fast fashion to slow fashion is unfortunately very gradual, and difficult to popularize for the moment.

But more and more small brands are still trying to do their part to change the status quo, hello ronron being no exception.

Built for longevity, hello purr’s designs are seasonless and also created with a fully fashioned knitting method to reduce waste.

Image Credit: hello purr

Did you know: For explanation, fully figured or shaped knitting is a method of production where the front, back and sleeve pieces are knitted into the correct shape directly with the knitting machine. Thus, the trimming process is minimal or totally eliminated, but some post-knitting trimming may still be required.

In the case of hello ronron, this applies to the sewing of their Japanese shell buttons, to the hand finishing of their armholes, to the sewing of clothing labels, for example.

Then the trims and pockets are knitted separately and sewn together with the rest of the knitted pieces to complete the garment.

By industry standards, this method is much more efficient, as the conventional cut and sew method can waste up to 30% of the original fabric as trim waste.

make the cut

We saw for ourselves just how meticulously crafted hello ronron’s parts are, when the team sent over six models for variety.

They included the Lynn Top Lavender (RM180), Agnes Top Black (RM200), Hera Skirt Evening (RM300), Sylvie Skirt Rose (RM280), Mila Dress Cloud (RM380), and Angelique Dress Black (RM390).

From these, we were able to study how hello ronron achieves different cuts and designs.

Although on the finer side of the knitwear we’re used to, each piece was solidly crafted in our hands, with no stray threads or poorly stitched seams.

Trying on a few of these, they were definitely form-fitting, but still comfortable enough for me to move into (for context, I’m quite petite).

hello ronron now offers three sizes: S, M and L, but Angela reassured that all their knits have good stretch, able to stretch up to 10 cm.

She also advised, “When you’re between sizes, look at the waistline first to see which sizes are closest to you.”

If you are unsure of the best fit for your size, hello ronron provides garment measurements for each product, which cover shoulder width, sleeve length, garment length, skirt slit length , etc.

More inclusive sizes are also in the works, she shared. For their future collections, Angela would also like to research the production of unused materials and recycled yarns (made from discarded plastic water bottles).

  • Learn more about bonjour ronron here.
  • Check out other Malaysian startups we’ve featured here.

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