Emran Rijal understands the importance of keeping ahead in the ever-changing world of fashion. Although Millennials have been the prime target audience over the last decade, the game is changing as Gen Z fashion trends dominate the industry. As the Founder and Creative Director of Emri Vision, Emran is committed to developing his own signature style, one that is defined by his commitment to illustrate the creativity of Malaysian culture.
Shaped by various influences across different points in his life, Emran integrates social and environmental themes into pieces that can withstand the test of time. In this interview, Emran talks about his goal, the sources of inspiration behind his designs, and the spark that led to the creation of Emri Vision.
What was your objective when you started Emri Vision?
We're trying to bridge the gap between high fashion and street fashion. Right now, that’s a grey line that we’d like to merge, to make it more relevant for people. My goal is to have people wearing my designs with pride, to feel comfortable in what they wear, and to feel free in being themselves.
It’s so easy to categorise fashion designers into different boxes. Whether they’re a bridal designer, or whether they’re a streetwear designer, it’s incredibly limiting on how designers are expected to create. I want to break that mindset and illustrate that there’s more to fashion. You know, most of my products are unisex, but we have a lot of female consumers. Even though I designed mostly for men, it’s incredible how they can appeal beyond the market we were targeting at. And that’s how it should be. To allow yourself to be drawn to what speaks to you.
What are the influences that shape your approach when it comes to designing?
I was a national hockey player from the age of 12 to 16. I travelled all around the world to play hockey. Because I was active in hockey, I had my initial influences from sportswear. Ultimately, it led me to start printing my own jerseys, producing windbreakers, as well as sponsoring the team. It was exciting as I got to explore a fair bit by learning the basics of how to communicate with the suppliers.
After that, I went to military camps. I was influenced by the military ways of dressing. For me, I was really inspired by the sharp silhouettes, the right colors, as well as wearing the right accessories. There are all these details that go into making a military uniform. And on top of it all, it has to function on a technical level.
At the same time, I’ve always had a passion for fashion. At some point, I started skateboarding, which plays a huge role in how fashion is perceived today. In fact, skateboarding pioneered streetwear. The birth of streetwear came from skateboarding, and I was able to immerse myself in that culture.
How did you get into the fashion industry?
After I graduated, I worked in retail for Givenchy. I learned about the high fashion world, retail, and that got me interested in fashion which led me to pursue my studies in a fashion school. After that, I started my own brand, and the rest is history. In a lot of ways, all of the dots have connected. The different points in my life have converged, and that’s essentially what Emri Vision is about.
If you look at my design, it's actually a loop that connects all the dots. It resembles where I came from. Well, the colour resembles my religion. Green represents Islam. It’s the crescent moon but at the same time it’s a loop that connects all the dots. That’s my vision for the brand, to connect.
Emran is wearing a jacket and trousers by Moschino; TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300