Let’s throw it back to the ’80s shall we?
For the youngens out there (myself included), the 80s was the era of oversized jackets, hair teased up to the heavens, flair light-wash jeans, Rock Kapak, discos, stereos and of course, the rise of icons Sheila Majid and Anita Sarawak.
Even if you’re a Zoomer or Millennial, when I mention the songs ‘Sinaran’ and ‘Joget Sayang Disayang’ by both of those female icons respectively, if you don’t immediately recognise them from the song titles, you surely would once you listen to it.
Not only were these two female powerhouses unanimously adored in Malaysia, but they also ventured across the pond and performed at many stages overseas, garnering a slew of international fans. With thralls of screaming admirers back then, it’s no surprise that all that love has carried on and solidified itself in the ongoing timeline of disco and cabaret music.
Now, an up and coming fashion brand by the name of Kelab Nasional has decided to pay tribute to these starlets by releasing their first drop of tees and caps, the former sporting designs of Sheila Majid and Anita Sarawak’s iconic hit song and album ‘Sinaran’ and Asmara.
JUICE got to have a quick chat with the brand and found out that Kelab Nasional started just a few months ago when a group of designers began pondering, “Cool gila kalau aku ada [insert Malaysian pop culture reference here] t-shirt.”
Growing up surrounded by punk and hardcore, these designers were accustomed to seeing their favourite bands repped on tees and silkscreen patches. Extracting inspiration from that, they began to curate a series of ideas that circulated a less appreciated genre of music which is an ode to nostalgic disco and pop.
During our interview, one of the designers behind Kelab Nasional said,
“The motivation comes from finding pieces of diminished or obscure culture that we’ll be breathing new life into. We get a sense of euphoria whenever we discover any pieces of rare materials by the artistes that we never knew existed in the first place. We wanted to make sure the spirit remains alive.”
To dive deeper into the brand and their inspirations, here’s the rest of our chat with Kelab Nasional:
What inspired the first drop to feature Sheila Majid and Anita Sarawak?
This collection is actually from our designer’s archive folder which he scanned the physical release of both designs and placement on a t-shirt mockup. This collection has been due for a long time, but he never showed it to anyone before. We recognise that these two queens have given a great impact in our music history and Sheila Majid had also driven Fi7i to do a remix of her song. With that, we think that these two pop celebrities are worth a tribute. They happen to be almost forgotten or buried under our contemporary visual landscape.
What can we expect from Kelab Nasional after this first release?
We have an endless list of t-shirts we want to produce, but every piece must be researched. It will come together through our digging process. We are trying to take more influence or revisit other materials outside of television. Mostly we’re looking into the 80s or pop celebrities, maybe even dig-up more rare documents or magazines for t-shirts.
Who else do you have in mind for the Nostalgia Collection?
This release is just our start-up to grab people’s attention to our page and it has a strong value as a tribute so it’s easy to have people recognise our main ideas in the first place. We will release the next collection soon or it can just be a single release of t-shirts.
Will you expand your line beyond tees and caps?
Yeah, we will look into it but our main line is t-shirts because we see t-shirts as a remarkable mode to distribute ideas and knowledge but… bear with us!
Part of the Nostalgia Collection, these Sheila Majid and Anita Sarawak tees will be available for pre-order from 31 October – 7 November.
To order, click here.