Our latest design, "I'm not from New York," has sparked a range of reactions, with some finding it polarizing. Yet, for us, it encapsulates a simple truth. As a local brand deeply rooted in our culture, we've witnessed firsthand the tendency for people to elevate foreign symbols over their own.
It's a phenomenon that prompts us to ask a fundamental question: why can someone proudly wear a New York cap but feel hesitant or embarrassed to wear one representing Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru?
Like any great product or design; it’s about sparking a dialogue. People look at it and start asking questions - why New York? What does it mean? Where are you from? It opens the door for a real conversation.
Growing up, I, like many others, was enamored by the allure of foreign places and brands. However, with time and reflection, especially after we stopped selling international brands, it became obvious to us that our biggest challenge isn't to get more people to wear caps or to buy more caps.
This realization, that our biggest challenge lies in reshaping attitudes towards our own culture, became the purpose of our brand and our calling. We recognized that we had a unique opportunity to not only create products but also to instigate meaningful change in societal perceptions.
Our biggest challenge has always been challenging the status quo. How do we make our own people to stop idolizing or uphold foreign symbols or culture while belittling ourselves. How do we inspire pride in our local culture and to foster a sense of belonging among our community.
"I'm not from New York," is intended to challenge perceptions and promote cultural pride. I'm sick of seeing us bow down to foreign symbols while neglecting our own heritage. We don't need validation from anyone else; what we need is to recognize our own greatness.