Embrace The Eclectic

Malaysian label Moto Guo’s gender-fluid designs are at once spontaneous and arresting – and made for these inclusive times.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

"Guo loves the “Anita Mui” coat from the F/W ’19 collection because of the nostalgia it evokes."

While the fashion world brims with curious characters and off -the-wall designs, few can actually define their work with a genuine, playful sense of humour like Moto Guo. And the masters behind this madness are Moto Guo, 28, and Kinder Eng, 27.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Guo co-founded the label with business partner Jay Ang in 2015. Eng, a schoolmate of Guo’s, joined as his personal assistant, but was quickly appointed second creative director in 2016. 

Their eclectic aesthetic did not go unnoticed. The duo were shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH Prize that year, and remain the only Malaysians to have ever received this accolade.

Guo cites Belgian designer Walter van Beirendonck as inspiration, while Eng admires Taiwanese designer Shueh JenFang’s (of Tokyo-based label Jenny Fax) whimsical work. In relation to the sense of humour that permeates their work, both also name Singapore actress Michelle Chong as a muse.

Though it began as a menswear label, Moto Guo has progressed to become a genderless one. The F/W ’19 collection, Feast Or Famine, offers an arresting amalgam of tiger motifs, tartan prints, and grandma-chic florals.

When asked how business decisions are balanced with creative vision, Guo says that one should “never give in too much, as persistence is key.” Adds Eng: “We always think it is feasible to compromise in a creative way.” – VW 

My Reading Room
Schoolmates turned codesigners, Moto Guo (left) and Kinder Eng.