SOCIAL-ism EPISODE 04: S Bahar
THE DESIGNER-TAILOR AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF S.BAHAR, SHAHRIN BAHAR IS TRULY AN INSPIRING & TALENTED INDIVIDUAL. KNOWN FOR HIS EXCLUSIVE AND BESPOKE APPROACH, S.BAHAR IS THE TRUE DEFINITION OF "TAILORED BUT NOT FORMAL."
1.Can you share with us your MCO experiences? What you have been doing from the 1st MCO until now, and are there any changes to your daily routines?
During the first MCO, the team and I have created a PDF on how to reset your wardrobe, an exercise that a lot of men have been neglecting over the years due to their busy lives. In that guide, we showed them how reassess and edit their wardrobe, taking out the
items you don’t wear anymore and keep only the essentials for you. The response has been great and many were sharing their activities
and realising they’ve been hoarding a lot all this while.
Til today, I have donated/sold more than 50% my own clothing since MCO 1.0 and it has given me a lot of clarity in choosing my attire and also changed my relationship with how I consume clothes.
2. You've worked in Amsterdam for many years, and with some big names; Nike & Filling Pieces to name a few. How was your experiences abroad and what had made had you decide to return to Malaysia?
I spent most of my late teens and twenties abroad, from graduating and gaining work experience in London, Singapore, Amsterdam and traveled to a lot of cities for business trips as well. The experience was amazing and a great learning process however the end goal has always been starting a label or a business that I can call my own. Seeing my peers abroad having a great sense of pride in representing their city even made more sense for me to start my label back in Kuala Lumpur. I love that a lot of my peers abroad are unapologetically Dutch/ French etc, therefore it’s only right for me to start my label back home and be unapologetically Malaysian about my upbringing and principles, with hopes on putting our city on the map as having one of the best creative culture in the globe.
3. From your IG posting, we saw a few shots of your studio/office with the background showcasing some punk band flyers and posters. Can you share with us your relationship with music?
I started playing the bass at the age of 12 due to the fact that my elder brother played guitar and I wanted to tag along and jam with
him. Our household had a melting pot of musical genres as I am the youngest of 3 siblings.
It started from my love for the band Blur, and later I started discovering bands like Placebo to hip hop artists like Nas and Wu Tang Clan.
My musical knowledge got more in depth when I was studying in London where I was fortunate enough to catch a gig once a week, had a university library with all the access to fashion and music history. that got me discovering bands like The Clash, PIL, Can, Television and many more.
It’s hard for me to choose my favourite genre of music as it all depends on the mood of the day. If I need to lift my spirits up, then it’s definitely post punk/ punk/krautrock . When I feel the need to be motivated, nothing puts me in a fantastic state of mind like hip hop. And when I’m feeling nostalgic and melancholy, I turn to Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, Brian eno or my favourite band of all time Placebo.
4. What makes S.Bahar unique compared to others?
What started out as a passion project has turned into a full time business. Before we started S Bahar, I would make suits only to close friends and acquaintances for weddings and other big occasions. Slowly the demand became more and more and we finally braved ourselves into starting a company. Therefore what’s unique about us is that the company was birthed organically with provided data and targeted audience before it became official. Now it has also turn into a community of like minded individuals.
5. Can you share with us 5 of your favourite protest songs?
1. PIL- Public Image
2. Childish Gambino- This is America
3. The Sundays- can’t be sure
4. Kendrick Lamar- alright
5. Joyner Lucas - I’m not racist
6. Any advice or wisdom to share with the young people who are looking into joining the fashion and tailor industry?
Plan less and just get started. Most of the answers and plans come from experience.
7. Lastly, any particular quote that you live by?
My goals/ dreams are “Fueled by Fuckups”. Everything that we achieved in this world is usually a product of a hundred misses and failures.
Interview: Jem | Translation: Khalisa Johari | Photography: S Bahar | Graphic: Vincent Tan
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