by Rajwin Paul Singh
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Sheng Tai International Sdn Bhd (STI) launches into the new year with great pace to achieve its vision of elevating the historic state of Melaka into an international fashion city. Founded by charismatic property developer Dato’ Leong Sir Ley , the visionary development company held its inaugural Straits Gala 2023 at The Sail Superdome, located at its iconic mixed-use development, The Sail Melaka.

The event follows the success of the Met Gala Malaysia held in 2021 and was attended by approximately 1000 guests including international investors from over 15 countries such as Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, China, Dubai, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, the Middle East, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and more. It marks a key milestone towards achieving STI’s vision of helping this UNESCO World Heritage City take on another accolade of international fashion city as well.

“After three years of living under a worldwide pandemic, when lockdown was lifted I recognised that there emerged a ‘new language’ that revolved around initiatives such as art and culture, wellness, fashion and artificial intelligence (AI).”

“It inspired me to gather international business owners from around the world, who through these initiatives, would come to The Sail and help us start new businesses, create job opportunities, facilitate the import of talent into the city and showcase Melaka on the international stage,” explains Dato’ Leong.

Both international and local guests were treated to a fashion parade headlining designer talent from the Straits Designers’ Gallery (SDG), featuring exciting designs by Bill Keith and an array of over 30 local and international labels (from Japan, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia) and designers including Angelique, Auratier, Bill Keith, Carro, Diane & Norule, Erdan, Gillian Hung, Variante, Faramas and Myriad Grand Monde. The line-up also included promising new talent from fashion graduates at the University Technology Mara (UiTM) in an effort to nurture new talent.

The event was also an evaluation platform for Fashion TV Academy Malaysia’s trained models, with top graduates standing a chance to participate in international events held by FashionTV Paris. During the evening, guests also enjoyed spectacular percussion performance on a huge bespoke screen as well as performances by talented artistes such as violinist virtuoso Megan Mei, popular singers Jaclyn Victor and Kenny Low.

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