From the ages of two to eight I lived in Kuala Lumpur and up to this day it still holds a special place in my heart. There’s something about the hum of the city, the smell of the air after a tropical rain and the friendliness of the locals that has gotten under my skin.
Luckily my parents still live in Malaysia and I go back every year to visit them. It’s always fun catching up with family and friends, eating all my favorite foods and seeing how rapidly the place has changed. The city inspired me so much the last time I was back that I decided to shoot Kayu’s Spring/Summer 2013 lookbook there. I teamed up with photographer Ana Maria, who in a weird twist of fate is actually from California, and together we prowled the streets of Kuala Lumpur. I had this idea of a free-spirited woman traveling through Asia and seeing the city through her eyes. I’m thrilled with the final photos and hope you enjoy her journey as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Enjoying a cold fruit shake
Catching a ride on a scooter, also known locally as a "kapcai"
I thought I’d share with you a sneak peek into my world. I run Kayu out of a 1970s Eichler in California. My office faces green mountains and it’s a lovely place for inspiration. Once in a while a deer or coyote will pay me a visit. The resident owl and hawk are permanent fixtures.
Here I am hard at work. My husband helped me put up the picture gallery on the wall which hold some of my favorite press clippings. I love to wear kaftans while I work – they are super comfortable yet still look chic. This one is part of a small clothing collection Kayu is launching this year.
Who can complain about work in a place like this? I love this type of architecture. It’s very Californian – easy and light-filled.
Some material collected during my travels. I have a soft spot for batik prints and any type of weave. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all this fabric!
Some of my favorite reads. I met Iris Apfel in New York once. She was wearing her signature oversized glasses and a huge colorful scarf. I was blown away.
We were absolutely thrilled that Norein and Michelle Otero, the talented duo behind the fashion house Ecliptica, included Kayu clutches for their recent Spring Summer show.
Their clothing line, Ecliptica has been the trend setting movement in Puerto Rico since 2001 and has been worn by superstars like Hilary Duff, Nelly Furtado and Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Rae. Ecliptica has presented at New York Fashion Week and featured in magazines like WWD, Harper’s Bazaar and In Style.
I’m sure you’ll agree that their Spring Summer collection is amazing and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on some of their creations!