Bumiputera-owned contemporary Muslimah fashion brand Asyikin Exclusive is set to penetrate the China market by the second quarter of this year.
Asyikin Exclusive Boutique Sdn Bhd Founder Nur Asysikin Rahmat said the company has set aside about RM3 million to cover the costs of the operations and collection production in China, which will begin in Lanzhou the latest by July.
Lanzhou, the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in northwestern China, is a major regional transport hub and an important city on the Silk Road. It has a large Muslim population and is home to the Xiguan Mosque, one of the country's most important and influential mosques.
Nur Asysikin, who majored in Islamic studies and is fluent in both Arabic and Mandarin, said Asyikin Exclusive's main challenge in China is to come up with collections to suit the country's four seasons.
"We are however positive about meeting this challenge as Asyikin Exclusive's markets already cover Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
"We are confident our brand will be well received there. They have high purchasing power and a Muslim population of 30 million, but Muslimah fashion that complies with Islamic law is hard to find in their market," she told Bernama.
Asyikin Exclusive's annual sales from the company's three locations in Melaka -- Fashion City Air Keroh, Mahkota Parade and Dataran Pahlawan -- are between RM3 million and RM5 million.
The brand is also available at vendor boutiques in Kuala Lumpur as well as Bangi and Shah Alam in Selangor at reasonable prices from RM59 to RM299.
Nur Asysikin said the company is allocating RM2 million for a new boutique, either in Bangi or Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur.
"The Muslimah fashion industry is growing not only locally but also abroad, expanding opportunities for our three-year-old brand," she said.
The local fashion industry, with contracts signed at fashion shows worth millions of ringgit, could contribute billions of ringgit to the annual national income and boost economic growth, she added, citing the contributions of fashion hubs in France, Italy, the US and Japan to their respective national economy.