Sabah Ethnic couture designs to be paraded in London

Rahmahjan (5th left) with Joanna Kitingan (4th left), Amisah (6th left ) with committee members showing off the competition poster.- Pix by Liaw Sin Kuang

KOTA KINABALU: Three top winners of the Sabah Ethnic Couture Design competition stand a chance to parade their creation in a fashion show in London, in June next year.

Datuk Rahmahjan Sulaiman Khan the founder and owner of RJCouture said the competition opened its participation for aspiring designers on July 5 and participation had been encouraging thus far at 28.

She said they are still hoping to garner between 35 to 40 participants before the closing date on November 30.

“The preliminary round will be held on Dec 7 and the second round will be held on Jan 11 next year,” she stressed, adding that on the second round the top 20 designs will be selected for the final round in March 14, which will be held in a hotel.

According to her there’s two categories for the competition, one of them being the traditional costumes of Sabah, which do not only encompass the tribal costumes of the Kadazandusuns, Rungus and Murut but also the Bajaus and other ethnic groups.

The second category is contemporary evening wear based on the Sabah ethnic motifs, she stated.

“Our main objective is to showcase our traditional and contemporary designs to the world, where in London, the creations will be paraded by their local models,” Rahmajan, the competition adviser said.

The prizes are RM5000, a trophy and a certificate for the winner, runner up is at RM4000, a trophy and certificate and the third place is RM3000, trophy and certificate. Promising designers will be awarded with RM300 and a certificate while overall subsidiary title or the best craftsmanship is  RM1000.

Meanwhile, Joanna Kitingan who is an experienced traditional beauty pageant organiser and a former Sabah State Museum director said the traditional motifs and designs should be authentic and done meticulously according to customs.

“This is to ensure against shoddy workmanship which  undermine the beauty of our traditional costumes,” she stated.

Joanna who is also KDCA Women’s Council chairperson said this is an opportunity for all aspiring designers should seize the opportunity to showcase their talent.

Also present during the press conference was Datuk Amisah Yassin the competition adviser and committee members. Information on the competition can be acquired from Alice -0111602768 or email