When one thinks of Swedish brands, IKEA may immediately come to mind but another great brand from the Nordic country is set to open its doors at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur with a brand-new concept store on 3 December 2022.

It is also Monki's first concept store in Southeast Asia. For them to debut here instead of Singapore is truly something special.

The brand under H&M group offers trendy pieces for young women and is on a mission to inspire them to feel worthy just the way they are.

The brand is also running a campaign called ‘Seven Sisters Salute Sisterhood’ that feature works of art from illustrators, muralists, and visual artists that speak of female solidarity. This will be the first time that Monki is collaborating with artists in Asia, and Malaysia in particular as this is the first of its kind outside of Europe from the brand.

This initiative will serve to champion the local arts scene and give seven female artists a platform to recognise their skills and use their voices to encourage female empowerment.

Sharina Shahrin

Sharina is a visual artist from Kuala Lumpur who draws inspiration from existentialism, women's rights, and culture. She said “My goal is to continue to raise awareness on the issue and to remind women of their value and boundaries. We deserve more than just a seat at the table!"​.

She is also the founder of Baju by Sharina, a fashion brand with the goal of promoting the beauty of Malaysian batik and a co-founder of Safe Space which offers a platform for women to express themselves.

Florence Khoo

Like Sharina, Florence has a love for batik, and this has greatly influenced her art pieces which come in vibrant colours and recurring floral patterns that mimic the traditional canting technique.

The Fine Art student from Dasein Academy of Art shared her views on sisterhood: “Healing, being vulnerable, unlearning and learning, helping one another out, being there for each other during all the ups and downs.”

Sarah Reza

sarah reza working with monki

The artist and illustrator from Kuching draws inspiration from fashion, culture, and colours and first started her career when she was chosen to illustrate a children’s book in 2018.

To her, sisterhood is the bond that she has with other women irrespective of their background. She said, “‘Salute Sisterhood’ would simply mean to me honouring this bond by being there for and with my sisters in times of their highs and lows.”

Nurul Atika

nurul atika monki artist

Nurul is a 26-year-old KL-based artist with a passion for character illustration and stylised portraiture. Growing up with a love for video games and comic books, these have spilled over to influence her artworks which are bold and contrasting.

To her, ‘Salute Sisterhood’ means “Supporting and lifting each other up emotionally. As creatives, we tend to coop up within ourselves but thankfully the online arts community is incredibly supportive, especially among us girls!”

Shari Jaffri

shari monki artist

This artist juxtaposes the tragic and the comic, describing her art style as minimal yet whimsical. She shared on her own experiences of being a female, saying, “Understanding my own femininity has been a wild ride, there are these ever-shifting perspectives, then there are also my personal views.

To reconcile these together continues to be a journey of its own but knowing that there’s a sense of community with other like-minded women gives me a better sense of assurance and belonging in the world.”

Dianne Tahir

dianne tahir monki artist

Dianne's whimsical artwork is a collection of sarcastic yet accurate depictions of our struggle to make sense of life. She said, “When I think of sisterhood, I also think about all the female friends I’ve made and worked with (including pets!). Relationships are really colourful; our differences and setbacks give us room to heal and teach. It's irreplaceable.”

Shobhana Nair

This graphic artist doesn’t stick to the status quo and constantly searches for and explores new styles and mediums by finding inspiration all around her. She remarked, “When we talk about ‘Salute Sisterhood’, it’s about accepting and supporting each other’s imperfections. This will lead to a sense of belonging and enhance personal growth within ourselves.”

Grand Opening

Monki also worked with local multi-disciplinary artist, Nawwar Shukriah Ali to create an eye-catching and colourful in-store installation for the outlet. The concept of the store is dubbed ‘Dream Weavery’ ––with soft yet impactful colours woven through every part of the store –– and is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Talk about girl power!

The seven artworks will be displayed in the new store on opening day and customers who make purchases will be able to choose one of the seven as a gift. Guests will also have the chance to meet the artists in person as the will be there from 11.00am to 2.00pm.

Monki will also offer gift cards to the first 100 inside the store, goodie bags, a ‘Monki-style’ photo booth, as well as a special opening day discount. Plus, the brand has teamed up with local female small business owners, whose merchandise in the form of candles, soap bars, and beaded bracelets will be available as gifts when customers spend a certain amount. The opening day celebrations will be held from 11.00 am to 10.00 pm.

Image credit:@shonaacreativehouse__, @misoramastudio, @florencekhoo.art, @newruul, @senisara.my, @tragikomedi, sharinashahrin_, @@cultcreativekl