Let me just be straight up honest here. I really struggled to come up with this year’s Raya campaign story. Looking at other brands’ brilliant campaigns (they’ve really set the bar high), I felt a bit intimidated and overwhelmed, resulting in a long procrastination in writing this campaign story! But what finally got me started was when I decided to take time off, be alone, and just be mindful. I thought long and hard, and asked questions. What brings us happiness? What makes our heart full? What brings us smiles and peace?
The first word that came to mind is… ‘Kasih’.
On surface, we generally understand kasih as love. But it’s not just limited to that. To me, ‘kasih’ means a lot more. Kasih also means warmth, hope, and compassion. Kasih is also ‘home’ and a place of safety. Kasih is peace. ‘Kasih’ is the essence of a beautiful and meaningful life, and it has always been here with us. Kasih has a strong meaning for me, and that’s when I feel it’s a powerful message to deliver as my Raya 2023 campaign.
Kasih: A Short Film Collaboration
Another idea came to mind. What better way to express, translate and share with you my campaign story, other than a film? With the help of talented friends from Feisk Production, we collaborated to produce a short film that showcases the essence of kasih in our lives. Our goal was not just to campaign for the collection in an entertaining way. Our goal is to tell a story that triggers your thoughts and emotions. Self titled, this film tells a story about girl name Kasih. A typical young girl just like any other teenager undergoing waves of hormonal developments, who is very much distracted with keeping up with peer pressures. She’s too busy spending her days chasing the boy of her dreams and keeping up with her social presence, being totally ignorant of what is actually happening around her, especially in her own family. As days gone by, she then realises that her mother’s health has deteriorated and she is only left with very limited days and hours to spend with her mother. Realising that she couldn’t turn back time and she should’ve been more present for her mother, Kasih has now learned about the importance of time and cherishing every moment in life, especially with your loved ones.
In relation to Hari Raya, this film promotes the value of time and relationships with your loved ones. Kasih displays the values of love and bond in a family, and the many cycles of hopes, regrets and disappointments that we go through in life. I do hope this film is impactful enough to touch your heart as it has touched mine. On a personal note, I could deeply relate to the film as there were many events in my life that I felt I should’ve been more present to cherish the past moments. We can learn great lessons from our experiences and reflections of the past. As for me, I learned not to take little moments and stories in our lives for granted (it may look insignificant then, but it could also be the most significant memory for us). For a start (and admitting that it’s hard), I try to put my phone away whenever I’m spending time with my family, and always reminding myself that this moment shall be great memories in the future.
If you’ve been following Kissahh since our debut collection, you must’ve noticed that the designs have always been subtle and minimal, playing a lot with neutral colours. This year, we decided to experiment with colours (really vibrant ones), patterns, and a wider range of fabric materials. It felt a little bit uncomfortable to step out of our comfort zone, but hey, this is all part of our journey and growth as a brand. Design wise, we are staying true to versatility and timelessness. We modernised the classic kebaya to make it more versatile and not only limited to festivities and formal occasions. We explored vibrant prints and colours for countless styling possibilities to wear daily or on special events. We also played with a special customised print, which is a modern interpretation of the Ikat pattern (which I personally feel that it’s under appreciated). Incorporating everything said above into a collection of designs, I am proud to present to you the Kasih collection.
Blending all the creative concepts, stories and values together, the Kasih collection encompasses designs which are selectively named after the Malay verb and nouns that complement ‘kasih’. Let me introduce you to Seri, Indah, Nona and Murni - words for the women’s range that describe the beauty of a woman; Ikhlas and Teman - for men, a tribute to our supportive male partners; and Manis and Molek - for the little ones who brighten our days and nights. I believe the key ingredient in a recipe for a beautiful life is ‘kasih’. Balancing these different concepts and values together creates a vibrant harmony, not just for this collection, but also in our daily lives.
On a personal note…
This collection is not just another Raya collection offering beautiful clothes. It’s a collection that carries stories. One of them is Kasih’s story. But more importantly, our own story. At the very least for me, this collection is another milestone story for Kissahh, and also personally for me as the founder. Although it’s (only) my second Raya collection, I’m going through another round of steep learning curve, and experiencing many firsts - first short film collaboration, first long-period physical pop-up store, first official store launch, and more. It has been a crazy season but it sure is worth it. This also brings me to a realisation that, these little wins and successes wouldn’t have happened without kasih around me. I am blessed to receive ‘kasih’ from families, friends and the community which is given in various forms of support and trust. If there’s something I learn from this collection and from writing this blog alone, it’s to appreciate kasih, and never take it for granted. I believe that kasih is the essence of peace and kindness we give to ourselves, our loved ones and everyone around us.
I wish every one of you an abundance of kasih, and a blessed Ramadhan.