The brand was created when I accidentally stumbled upon the resources for leathers and exotic skins. I just saw so much potential and creativity in creating pieces using these materials, I saw a challenge! Skins like seabass and lizard can and should be developed even further as I feel they can help create beautiful pieces. QULIT means “SKIN” in my native language, Malay. All my pieces have and will always be influenced by my Malaysian heritage.
Where did the taste for leather at the forefront come from?
Personally, leather is by far one of the most luxurious materials out there; who does not love luxury? It is also a difficult material to tailor, I love the challenge of creating designs using this, it really puts creativity to the test and it is interesting as leather falls so differently on your body as opposed to fabrics.
What sort of girls do you envisage wearing a leather vest, for example ‘the city bitch’, ‘the east end night clubber’…?
“The Introverted Fashionista”. I create my pieces for individuals who want to make a statement through fashion. I love the creative silent types like Andy Warhol: shy at heart, but use aesthetics to show how they feel and create a distinct aura. Some people that I would love to see wear my designs are Solange Knowles, Iggy Azalea, Kat Graham, and Cassie Ventura.
Tell me a little more about this ‘urban warrior’ idea.
The idea of using studs and spikes: most people think I was inspired by goths and punks ? absolutely no. I was inspired by fashion history, from the medieval times. The studs I use are gold – Regal, royal, noble. The studs are also tarnished, giving them character and war like behaviour. I have always been intrigued by the metals and details in this era. Urban culture is just part of my personality and a big, big part of my generation; it is only natural to mix this into my design process.
Are you a fan of Iggy Azalea? I picture her as an urban warrior, and I also picture her in QULIT.
YES! I LOVE HER! I mentioned her above as one of the people I would like to see wearing my pieces. She is edgy, cool and fun. I love her music, her work, her body and she is gorgeous.
I get an ‘80’s disco meets modern goth’ sort of vibe. Agree?
Do not agree. I can see why you would say that. Goth is a big no; to be honest I don’t think any of them would like my collection. And for the bright colours I use it’s more to represent our current time than the 80s. I feel like the 80s were more about prints and mixing colours together to create a pattern, where I specifically use colour blocking – a key trend today.
Is leather a material that can be worn across all seasons? How can you change it up?
Leather will always be in trend. There are many ways to change it up. It is a harder material to work but if you look closely leather is now slowly become a basic must have – leather tees, leather dresses, leather skirts. There’s so much more you can do in terms of design and I intend on exploring this even more with my future collections. It’ll be a challenge but that will keep Qulit relevant and interesting.
How would you say your collection interprets androgyny?
I do design with a female body in mind but the collections are really unisex. If you can pull it off, go for it: I do not discriminate. I would label QULIT as tomboy chic. I think it is genius when a woman can dress like a man and look and feel sexy and vice versa! All the designs are cut in a way where they do not hug the body, it always falls loose; I do not design to accentuate female curves, I design to fall and drape the body like as if a man were to wear it.
Why do you think studs have become such a staple statement to outfits this year? Do you think the idea of DIY and customizing from fashion enthusiasts reflects an exciting push in expression and risktaking in fashion?
Studs provide a sense of texture and are substantial when worn. It is like jewellery for your clothes. I think fashion enthusiasts and industry leaders all see the beauty that can be created by using this for detailing as it adds to the design. But mainly the key trend is EDGE! Studs and spikes are the epitome of edginess. It makes any outfit look bolder, stronger, cool and adds that “rawr”. Today everyone wants to make a statement, well the bold fashion enthusiasts at least. Just take a look at the people of popular culture like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna etc; they allow the public to be bold and brave to wear their costume outfits as everyday outfits. It is definitely a way to express ones self through clothes, and risk is something that is a normality in fashion nowadays.
Words: Charles Matthews