They say the unique style and inventiveness of any fashion designer flows from the person itself. This couldn’t be more true than describing Rasta Rashid herself, the very personification of colourful vibrancy, regal elegance and boundless dynamic talent.
Trying to describe Rasta Rashid in one word is near impossible. Fashion designer, fashionpreneur, fashion mentor to Fashion Vocational Colleges, President of the Malaysian Bumiputra Designer Association, Fashion icon, Batik trendsetter, Costume Queen,...these are some of the hats that she wears today.
Almost 10 years ago, she realised there was a glaring market need for custom made ballet costumes. Getting her first major order from her daughters’ ballet school for their annual dance concert was the start to something which she never expected or imagined. Her business expanded very quickly to most of the major ballet and dance schools in Malaysia and within a year of starting out, she was soon having production teams in Malaysia and Bangkok. Her customers fondly calls her the Costume Queen, a label that is now synonymous with the name Rasta Rashid.
Her entrepreneurial abilities didn’t go unrecognised, and she was awarded the Top 60 Female Business Icons in Malaysia by Nona Magazine. Around the same time, Rasta Rashid also became a mentor, figurehead and spokesperson for the fashion students for College Vocational in Malaysia. Many hours of her time were spent passing her knowledge and experience to the students to prep them for the future life as a fashion designer. She has this stock advice to them, “if you are going into fashion for the glamour, you are already in the wrong career. It is all about hard work, passion and believing in yourself”.
Rasta Rashid also wears the hat of President of Malaysia Bumiputera Designer Association (MBDA) , a position that enables her to provide the platform for all designers to showcase their creations in fashion shows and trade shows. Teamwork and collaboration are buzzwords that she will always espouse, as she believes that everyone can succeed better if they work together rather than as individuals.
Not contented with just being the Costume Queen, Rasta Rashid also began creating Batik garments from the simple Malaysian Batik Sarong, which traditionally has been used as a wraparound skirt or for pillows and cushions. Her inspiring ingenuity saw the introduction of vivid, energetic Batik bomber jackets, blazers, modern dress and men’s shirts, hoodie jackets, the like which never has been seen before. Her label, Batek by Rasta Rashid, has become the mainstay go to Batik wear by all walks of people and generations from CEOs, Government Ministers to the young millenials. Our beloved Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad recently wore her Batek label shirt to the Visit Malaysia 2020 logo launch in KLIA. Other accolades include being recognised by Tatler Malaysia as the top 10 indie Batik designers in the country. What is her unique batik trademark which makes her stand out from the rest? “It is the pucuk rebung (the head design which sits on the Batik Sarong) which is instantly recognisable on the back of all my designs, be it shirts, dresses or blazers”. Her batik label now extends to shoes, handbags and clutches too.
Batek by Rasta Rashid has been seen at numerous Fashion shows. Namely Malaysia Fashion Week, Borneo Fashion Week, Singapore Fashion Week and MIFF. In late 2019, Batek by Rasta Rashid will be making its US debut in Miami Fashion Week.
The journey of this dynamic, inspiring woman is only halfway travelled. Stay tuned to this space to see what she does next. But it will be definitely something anyone will least expect!
She was awarded as Most Promising Designer Award at Malaysia Fashion Week 2019.
On Jan, 2021 she was awarded as Malaysia Fashion, Modeling & Pageant Award (MFMPA) 2020 Merit Award for Batik Industry Development.