Fashion Talks with Andrea Wong: From the Local Scene to Crazy Rich Asians

It all started with a serendipitous email that would change the course of Andrea Wong’s fashion career.

The sender of the email was Nina Jacobson, the main producer of the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians.

“I thought I was being tricked,” Andrea recalls.

But a quick Google search revealed Jacobson’s qualifications, and after a few phone calls, she was thrust into the whirlwind production of Crazy Rich Asians.

For Andrea, it was more than just an opportunity: it was a chance to bring a unique Southeast Asian take on fashion to the silver screen.

Wong spent three months in Malaysia and three weeks in Singapore, working closely with costume designer Mary Vogt to curate outfits that capture the luxury and diversity of Southeast Asian fashion.

“My role wasn’t just shopping, it was turning a vision into reality,” Andrea explained.

“Bringing my interpretation of Southeast Asian fashion to Hollywood has been incredibly rewarding,” she said.

An unplanned but fateful return

When Andrea returned to Malaysia after completing her studies in Australia, she envisioned a short career change before returning overseas.

Little did she know that her role at Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia would ignite her passion for fashion.

“I joined the editorial team at Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia with no formal fashion education,” she says.

She worked her way up the ranks over five years to become fashion editor, immersing herself in the local fashion scene and discovering a deep love for the industry.

Andrea’s freelance career has allowed her to collaborate with various publications, local designers and brands.

She has been instrumental in nurturing the Malaysian fashion community through her roles as Editor-in-Chief of Elle Malaysia and fashion stylist for the film Crazy Rich Asians.

“These experiences have fuelled my desire to support and improve the local fashion industry.

“The local fashion industry has great potential but needs more support from fashion enthusiasts,” she said.

Andrea is a strong advocate of home-grown talent and aims to use her influence to raise awareness of local designers and brands.

She highlighted successes such as Alia Bastamam’s showcase at New York Fashion Week and Rizman Ruzaini’s showcase at Dubai Fashion Week 2023 as examples of Malaysia’s potential on the global stage.

“Our talent is internationally competitive. Local designers have taken their craft to a level that rivals international brands. Support local!”

“There needs to be a greater appreciation for the exceptional craftsmanship that our designers produce,” she said.

Andrea was recently a guest speaker at Sinner Daily’s “She Leads 2: Dressing Right & Feeling Good”, a women’s networking event held in Kalankrakh on May 7th.

Together with makeup artist Nabila Nordin (known as Warnabila), she shares her tips to help you feel more courageous and confident in your fashion and makeup choices.

She Leads 3: Boosting Mental and Physical Wellbeing focuses on improving mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and is taught by fitness coach Kevin Zahri and clinical psychologist Yasmin Khan.

Join the conversation and join us at Karangkraf on June 25. Tickets are available at sheleads.sinardaily.my.

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