While growing up together in Kuala Lumpur, Shirieene Hajamaideen and Rekha Sen (the duo behind the Maizen phenomena) were your everyday youngsters with big dreams. They talked fashion, designed clothing and bags for their friends and dreamt of making it big one day.
After much talk, finally in 2001, Funky Co Sdn Bhd was incorporated and www.funkybags.com went live. The company first started out by selling handbags online. With their fingers crossed, Shirieene and her best friend Rekha, launched "Maizen handbags" in 2001. Soon magazines were covering this sought after bags and within 6 months, they started organizing ‘Tupperware style parties’ selling their bags. The response was extraordinary, and the girls decided to think even bigger and expand. The idea of opening a store came to mind.
They also recognized that the store couldn’t just sell bags, and packed their bags and flew to LA, London and New York for fashion week to source for upscale and funky clothing designers to compliment the style and look of their bag line. In November 2002, the doors of Maizen Boutique were finally opened. The first Maizen store opened in Lot 10, a mall on the prestigious stretch of Jalan Sultan Ismail in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Maizen was also the first store in Malaysia to debut international labels such as Catherine Malandrino, T-bags, Tracy Reese, Rebecca Taylor and many others that at one time could only be seen in international fashion magazines.
It wasn’t long before it was time to expand again. This time space was an issue, and the duo decided to break with the norm and set up a completely different style of retail outlet. This was the birth of Maizen Maison, the full concept boutique that is similar to Fred Segal in LA. This time they moved into a bungalow in the trendy area of Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur. The girls were excited about the prospect of a boudoir style boutique, and the set up of a fabulous walk-in closet over 2300 square feet. To this day, Maizen Maison still stands in Bangsar…albeit a little revamped! On March 8th 2010, Maizen expended with the addition of Maizen Babette – a room filled with baby and children goodies like clothes, shoes, accessories, funky baby bottles and pacifiers, toys and books!
Maizen prides itself for being a full service retail environment. With the new expansion, we are able to take personalization to different heights. Maizen’s professionally trained fashion consultants are also at hand to provide the ultimate personal shopping experience. If Cleopatra was alive, she would undoubtedly have been a Maizenista. Close your eyes ‘imagine lying back on a love seat, sipping a refreshing beverage while picking out your wardrobe for the season’.
As Sarah Jessica Parker once told Vanity Fair, “If you’re a nice person and you work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys. It’s the decadent reward.”