MELAKA: As part of Sheng Tai International’s (STI) vision to launch Melaka as a city of high culture, it organized the Straits Gala Melaka 2023 showcasing couture fashion by a coterie of local and international labels spearheaded by veteran designer Bill Keith. The event was packed with performances by household names Jacklyn Victor, Kenny Low and violinist Megan Mei.
STI founder Datuk Leong Sir Ley said that the event is an initiative to inject into Melaka the new language of art and culture, fashion, wellness, and artificial intelligence that have emerged in the post-pandemic era.
“(The gathering) of business owners from around the world will help us start new businesses, create job opportunities, facilitate the import of talents to the city and showcase Melaka internationally,” she said.
Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Ali Rustam, who spoke to an audience of global entrepreneurs at the gala event via a pre-recorded video, said he is happy to support and encourage Leong’s initiatives to not only develop existing business opportunities but also encourage new business migration.
The Straits Gala Melaka was held at The Sail Superdome at the on-going mixed-use development, The Sail Melaka. The Sail comprises nine towers forming an ellipse and is connected at the top by the Unity Sky Ring, named after the shape. The sky ring will be the highlight of the development, featuring Sky Garden, Moon Theatre, F&B outlets, a swimming pool and more.
Phase 1 of The Sail, comprising the Ballroom, Sheng Yan restaurant and retail units was completed in January. The retail units, already fully tenanted, are expected to open shops in 1Q 2023.
STI also partners with Straits Designers’ Gallery to create a fashion ecosystem where local and international designers can gather and promote their collections. STI is also the franchisee of FashionTV and plans to leverage the channel to create an international platform for homegrown designers as well as nurture modelling talents.
“Ultimately, we want to establish Melaka as a one-stop hub for specialty design and making apparel and accessories. With STI getting the FashionTV franchise in Malaysia, it’s a stepping-stone to get our brands to the world,” said Keith.
“Through our partnership with FashionTV, we believe there will be more opportunities for our local talents, be it models, influencers or fashion designers, to shine on the international stage,” he added.