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Bringing Indonesia’s Muslim fashion to the New York stage

Annabel Tanya Nugent

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, September 14, 2016  /  02:23 pm
Bringing Indonesia’s Muslim fashion to the New York stage

Anniesa's collections presented on Sept. 12 at the 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows, a division of the fashion industry event focused on haute couture. (

Although having only started her fashion career one year ago, Anniesa Hasibuan luxurious Muslim clothing designs has launched her to international acclaim, earning her a spot in one of the world’s most prestigious and recognized fashion events.

It was only last year that acclaimed Indonesian and Muslim designer Anniesa Hasibuan would still have called her passion for designing clothes a hobby.

Now, Anniesa is one of Indonesia’s leading fashion designers, and her sketches and designs that she once only shared with friends and family will come to life at one of the world’s most prestigious and anticipated fashion events: New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

Anniesa will present her collections on Sept. 12 at the 2016 New York Fashion Week: The Shows, a division of the fashion industry event focused on haute couture.

To be featured at NYFW is commonly considered as the pinnacle of a fashion designer’s career, as it gives the world’s top fashion designers a chance to showcase their latest collections to other designers, potential buyers, magazine editors, international journalists and celebrities with influence.

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Furthermore, Anniesa is one of the few Indonesian designers to have ever been invited to showcase a collection at NYFW, and will therefore be doing a lot to introduce Indonesia onto the global runway.

Anniesa is expected to present her collection alongside household names such as Vera Wang, Desigual, Vivienne Tam and Jeremy Scott.

However, Anniesa made it clear that this is not an overnight success story.

“People sometimes think that I’ve just jumped straight into going to NYFW, but it was a process. It has been a long journey which I have taken step-by-step,” she said.

Since early 2015, Anniesa has worked non-stop to build her fashion empire. As a result, she has since opened up her own self-titled boutiques in Kemang, South Jakarta, and furthermore has been invited to showcase her designs locally, including at Jakarta Fashion Week.

She is also expanding her fashion business abroad, travelling across Europe to present her collections in Istanbul, London and most notably at the Couture New York Fashion Week this past February.

Although the Anniesa Hasibuan brand is most renowned for its grand designs and elaborate details, Anniesa’s collection, to be showcased at NYFW, will introduce her ready-to-wear line onto a global stage.

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“My collection that I will be presenting this September in New York will consist of 48 looks, with 38 being ready-to-wear pieces and only 10 being evening gowns,” Anniesa said.

At first, Anniesa was not sure about her ready-to-wear line, but positive response at a fashion show in Istanbul changed her mind

“The response was so positive that I have become more confident and am ready to focus on ready-to-wear garments, even though I started with couture,” she said.

Through her designs, Anniesa is ready to prove that a ready-to-wear design does not mean boring.

“My ready-to-wear line is simple and elegant, but still uses the luxurious materials that I am known for, and my wearers can now feel like princesses in their day-to-day lives, not just on special occasions,” she explained.

The collection, titled De Jayakarta, will feature a color pallet that is heavy in gold, brown, peach and green.  

Another benefit found in Anniesa’s ready-to-wear line is that many of the garments are mix-and-match, meaning wearers can put their own spin on her designs, allowing for countless original, new outfits.

The 48 looks will be completed with jewellery and shoes that are also manufactured by the Anniesa Hasibuan brand.

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“We make everything — our headscarves, shoes, jewellery is all manufactured by our brand. We want to be a boutique that customers can come into and buy a complete look that is all truly Anniesa Hasibuan,” she said.

Anniesa realizes that NYFW is a huge opportunity for her to grow her fashion line, but more than anything she is extremely proud to be representing Indonesia.

“I want to bring the Indonesian name to the fashion world, and use my clothes to introduce people to the different and diverse parts of Indonesia,” Anniesa said.

Although she admits to always being nervous before a show, Anniesa has always and will always bring a small Indonesian flag to the runway to calm her nerves, as it reminds her that she is representing her home country on a global scale.

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