The power of two

Designers behind FIZIWOO ... Kai (left) and Fizi.

FIZIWOO'S dresses are easily recognised through its structured yet voluminous and elegant silhouette, yet not many know about the men behind the eponymous label that gives a sense of mysterious semblance. Perhaps this is the beauty that shadows every woman dressed in FIZIWOO.

To the designers Mohd Hafizi Radzi Woo (Fizi) and Izree Kai Haffiz (Kai), there is more to it than just extravagant ruffles and fancy embellishments, even though they are two very different persons –their topic of interests complements each other when crafting a collection.

Fizi is always inspired by movies, through visuals and graphics and Kai picks up inspiration when he reads.

In the recent Spring/Summer '18 collection, the designers decided to revisit the past, bringing forth history to deliver a new wave of clothing for a new generation of women.

Inspired by the movie "The Flowers of War", they took in context of the 1970s post-war movement, and its repercussion on socio-economy has forced unfortunate women into sexual servitude. At the time of hardship, self-reliance is necessary in keeping them alive.

Creativity is the way to go, and so is emotion. The collection is inherently romantic and empowering, despite how flowy, structured and feminine the dresses are, it sculpts the body nicely.

"By incorporating tough materials with soft and subtle fabrics, they reflect back on what we perceive. It is totally different from what the past collection looks like, something really flowy but at the same time it has that FIZIWOO soul in it, " Kai expressed.

Love Me or Woo Me

FIZIWOO's leitmotif has always been about women and believing in women, particularly right now where they feel like many of us do; women should be treated with respect and recognition they very much deserved.

Giving fashion a more personal and sentimental value, we need to look at women in a universal way and fashion in a more inclusive way.

"When talking about female empowerment, it's not that we are sexualist, it's just because we deal with women a lot," said Kai.

"It is also a celebration of women's rights," Fizi added.
They felt the need to have a little sense of responsibility about the image of women that they are projecting especially in the realm of mass media.

The decision to bring back "Love Me or Woo Me" slogan tee in their S/S '18 collection has never been at a better time than now as it reflects the theme perfectly well.

In order to love others, one should start by loving themselves. "It's either you love me or you woo me," Kai explained.

Reinventing itself

The designers at FIZIWOO are moving forward into the future by looking at the past; reexamining and recreating.

Kai emphasised on the difficulty in keeping the brand afloat, saying it is easy to become popular than to sustain the relevancy.

"We don't want to be only known for ruffles because it is a trend; it can never be a signature, but we do have a signature of having a well-fitted structured dress."

To explain, Fizi takes Gucci helmed by its creative director Alessandro Michele since 2015 for using the same concept in all his collections. What Michele changes are the little trimmings and finishing to keep up with the relevancy of trend.

"Fashion is always about revisiting and reinventing," Fizi continued.

For the past years, FIZIWOO has been taking the same approach, but this year marks a turning point for the brand in terms of design, business direction and on how people would perceive the label after this.

Given that Kai has a background in architecture, the designers are all set to venture into uncharted territory: "We do have plans to have our own boutique villas, but it would be a long term investment."

"It's like a private villa that you can rent out – maybe we can have one in Langkawi and one in Bali," Kai said.

By pushing into the hospitality industry, they aim to introduce FIZIWOO as a lifestyle brand, replicating the same experience from the FIZIWOO boutique into the villas.

FIZIWOO is also establishing a new line for all made-to-measures and bridal wear – FIZIWOO Artisanal. "It also serves as a tribute to all my staff. They are not just workers; they are artisans." Kai revealed.

With just two months to go before 2018, we can expect to witness more of FIZIWOO's repertoire. Fans can look forward to a second menswear collection, a capsule wardrobe, another bridal wear and its event collaboration with jewellery brands Tiffany & Co and Chopard.