Fashion Designer, Alumnus
Written by Christine Chan
Writer Christine Chan had coffee with Jovian and here is what she found out.
Anita Sarawak, Dato’ Seri Hajjah Siti Nurhaliza, Dato’ Sharifah Aini, Erra Fazira, Linda Onn, Umie Aida, Amber Chia, Maya Karin, Misha Omar, Daphne Iking, Fasha Sandha, Sazzy Falak, Yasmin Hani, Dynaz, Deborah Henry and the list goes on. They are household names in Malaysia – a veritable who’s who of the celebrity world. What they have in common is a Jovian Mandagie designer wear hanging in their wardrobe.
Jovian Mandagie at 22 is already on top of the world in the fashion industry. It has been two years since he began his line of designer wear and already his creations have crossed the seas and showcased in other countries. He kicked off 2008 with a range of designs for the reigning Miss Malaysia World 2007 – Deborah Priya Henry – to boost her participation in the world pageant held in China.
By April he was presenting his collection at the inaugural Islamic Fashion Festival held in Dubai and graced by the Queen of Malaysia Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah who was herself dressed in a Jovian Mandagie!
Then he was off to the Petronas F1 Race in Sepang where he had designed the outfits for the girls on the race track. He bucked the trend that we normally see on race tracks where the girls are dressed in short and sexy attires. His design reflected the quiet dignity of Malaysia cultural heritage using batik as the main fabric and yet keeping the design contemporary and trendy.
It is the only university that goes the extra mile in exposing students to the real world, dealing with prominent projects
Jovian credits Limkokwing University for contributing to where he is today. “It is the only university that goes the extra mile in exposing students to the real world, dealing with prominent projects.” said Jovian who was involved in designing for Lancome as well as participating in the Sarawak traditional fabric project which were part of his industry project work as he studied for his Fashion and Retail Design qualification.
Jovian’s major breakthrough in the fashion arena materialized in Jakarta, 2006 when he designed for ‘Ratu’. In the same year, he made his Malaysian debut at Astro’s Anugerah Era 2006 where his ‘Leather and Denim’ themed collection were worn by Ning Baizura, one of Malaysia’s popular singers and Kudsia Kahar, General Manager of AMP Network.
“A good head start for me was when I worked with Ivan Gunawan, a well–known designer and TV presenter in Jakarta, Indonesia during my three months internship,” said Jovian who passed over an offer of working as an intern with Laura Ashley in London in his fifth semester.
‘Embellishments’ are Jovian Mandagie’s trademark. “It is crucial for a successful designer to have his own identity.” One can definitely spot Jovian’s Swarovski crystal embellishments in his three different lines of designs; the traditional Kebaya wear, evening/bridal wear and men’s wear. Each embellishment is selected meticulously. His choices are always subtle shades of colour.
He wants to make women look and feel beautiful and bring out the best in them, intensifying their looks and bolstering their confidence. “My mother, Silvana, was my inspiration and anchor,” said Jovian who had been exposed to beautiful women since young as his mother is involved in the beauty business.
‘Fashion and Design’ had never crossed Jovian’s mind when he enrolled for the Architecture course in Limkokwing University. He was ‘exposed’ to the fashion world when he became a part–time model and it just hit him. “I knew from then on fashion and design was my life,” said Jovian who also excels in Maths and Physics.
“I love meeting people and socializing. I love parties too,” said Jovian who described himself in five words as ‘refreshing’, ‘innovative’, ‘determined’, ‘focused’ and ‘sincere’. The eldest of four siblings, he has become the role model for his half Malaysian and half Indonesian family.
Passion and hard work are the key ingredients to achieving success. You have to have a clear aim, know what you are doing, plan strategies to achieve it, be independent and set your priorities right
Although Jovian has embraced his mother’s passion for fashion he still retains a love for architecture which he shares with his father. “Interior design, home deco and architecture are my next steps,” he said.
His advice to all students of Limkokwing University?
“Passion and hard work” are the key ingredients to achieving success. “You have to have a clear aim, know what you are doing, plan strategies to achieve it, be independent and set your priorities right.
“The way ahead is not an easy journey; there are definitely pitfalls and obstacles. Mixing with the right company and being ‘street wise’ is a must.”
Looking back in the early days of his career days, Jovian recalls how his name was spelt as ‘Jovian Mandagu’! But today, his name ‘Jovian Mandagie’ is certainly going places!
Photos credit: Jovianmandagie.com and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
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