Photo: Duchess & Co 

What are the odds of meeting someone at a music festival, hitting it off instantly and starting a fashion label together? It’s unimaginable but that was exactly what happened to the co-founders of Malaysian fashion label, Duchess & Co.

Wendy and Ju Nn met at ZoukOut nine years ago through a mutual friend and clicked at once. The topic of starting a label never came up, not until they coincidentally bumped into each other at a mall a few years later (also unimaginable).

At that time, creative director Ju Nn was doing risk management but her love for fashion was always lingering in the back of her head. On the other hand, director Wendy worked in fashion doing wholesale for jeans and managed a franchise amongst other ventures.  

 

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While out for lunch at a mall near her office, Ju Nn ran into Wendy who unexpectedly brought up the topic of starting a fashion label together. She agreed in a whim and the rest was history.

During the conceptualisation for the brand, the twosome realised that apart from couture and international brands, there wasn’t a local label that carried feminine and elegant ready-to-wear pieces in Malaysia. That was the basis and idea they built Duchess & Co on four years ago.

The label first started out as an online store, but the pair soon noticed that some customers didn’t buy directly from their website. Instead, they were willing to visit the brand’s secluded showroom just to take a closer look at their pieces.

Photo: Duchess & Co 

Not long after, the entrepreneurs came to a decision to open a physical store in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur followed by one in Penang to cater to their customers in the North of Malaysia. This year, they hit a new milestone by opening a pop-up boutique in Singapore - their first step into expanding overseas.

 

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Although the brand had an existing Singapore clientele buying directly from their website, the expansion was to introduce the brand to a bigger group of local customers and to give them the same shopping experience as their Malaysian customers.

Photo: Duchess & Co 

Just like the stores in Malaysia, The Singapore boutique located at 313 Somerset is designed with luxe marble counters and gold racks. Boutique staff hired are no ordinary staff either. They are fashion consultants trained to help shoppers pick out outfits according to the occasion, their preference and what suits their body type.

Obviously, we can’t forget about the main star of Duchess & Co - the sophisticated and timeless pieces. From the quality of the apparels, we can tell that a lot of thought goes into the brainstorming, designing and selection of the fabrics and colours (you’ll have to visit the store and see it for yourself).

Photo: Duchess & Co 

For the latest collection “Made of Stars”, Ju Nn was inspired by the stars in the sky and the zodiac signs, hence the name. Different pieces from the collection represents the various zodiac signs by incorporating the characteristics and elements of it.

Our favourite would be the limited edition skater dress (seen on Ju Nn) that incorporates the dreamy and fluid personality of a Pisces. It is a water sign as well, therefore the blue colour. The tulle skirt of the elegant dress has an ombre effect designed with the Milky Way in mind, while the glitter details represents the stars.

When asked about the brand’s plans for the next five years, creative director Ju Nn replied that everything is evolving so quickly and it’s hard to see five years down the road. But for now, they are sure that they would like to expand in Singapore further, start to go into the Indonesian market and develop in Australia as well.

 

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