Bon Zainal: Born in Terengganu, Styled by California, Dressing Up Malaysia

In Person

Bon Zainal: Born in Terengganu, Styled by California, Dressing Up Malaysia

Fashion designer Bon Zainal says one does not need to break the bank to dress up in style. Malaysia’s King of Sartorial Style speaks to AWANI Review’s Syed Farradino Omar in this episode of In Person.

Zig Ziglar, famed motivational speaker from the US, said that “you cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”

And then, actor Alec Baldwin said that he was often influenced “by men I knew who always dressed formally.”

It goes without saying that the way one dresses is a window to the inner workings of one’s mind. Put in effort and the message is that you care enough about the impression that you wish to make. That’s always a great start to seal the deal. Any deal. 

Bon Zainal would know what he’s talking about. This native-born Terengganu fashion designer has been messing around with clothes and personal style since he was a kid. As he got older, he realised that being in the business of fashion is where he sees his career growing and thus made a move to gain more knowledge about this finicky, fast moving world by enrolling in a college in Los Angeles.

Once Bon got Stateside, he was bitten by the intoxicating California bug. 

He stayed on to work with some notable people in the fashion industry there, giving him access to Hollywood A-Listers, which allowed him to learn about what they cared most when dressing up.

That knowledge, he used wisely, when he came back to Malaysia. He worked for a reputable local menswear tailoring specialist and once armed with enough insights into the local flavour, the Bon Zainal label was born some quarter of a century ago. And this suave, svelte man has never looked back since.

Podcast of the interview: