news + views: White’s right

This article first appeared in Haven, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 17, 2017 - April 23, 2017.

Bremen Wong (left) and White Teh are the creative duo behind 13Vv

Herr bench (RM1,300)

Sadness is Rebellion decorative piece (RM550) and X side table (RM1,150)

Boom pot and plant (RM105), Unbolt the Wind to Me decorative piece (RM330) and Sofa white side table (RM1,100)

Mill side table (RM880)

Determiner home decorative canvas (RM199)

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Not content with just being Malaysia’s preeminent milliner, Bremen Wong includes furniture and decorative items for the home in his oeuvre.

 

Fancy headgear might not enjoy as strong a following in Malaysia as in, say, the UK but that hasn’t stopped 43-year-old Bremen Wong from pursuing his dreams. Having firmly established himself as the country’s main milliner, the enterprising Sabahan has now expanded his creative range to include furniture and home decorative items, all infused with his unique sense of aesthetic, of course. “It has always been a dream of mine to venture into furniture one day,” he says when we meet at 13Vv (pronounced “thirteen-vee-vee”), his shiny new retail space at The Studio in The Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur, which champions and celebrates local creative talent and features, among others, homegrown fashion brands Cassey Gan and Khoon Hooi as well as Wong’s eponymous millinery label. 

A collaboration with furniture and interior designer White Teh, the 13Vv label may also be seen as a typographical play on their partnership, referencing Wong’s initials as well as “By White”, in tribute to Teh. 

Having just launched its debut 22-piece collection, which ranges from a simple wood and metal bench to home decorative items that are unmistakably inspired by Wong’s one-of-a-kind hat designs, 13Vv aims to appeal to those who appreciate design and detail yet don’t want to break the bank in doing so. At first glance, the phrase “organic elegance” best sums up 13Vv’s collection, with sleek contours and clean lines in abundance. The overall palette is muted, keeping primarily to nature’s shades but with pops of colour, courtesy of a selection of houseplants niftily contained in pots and urns sourced from all over the world, including open-air Italian marketplaces.

“Most of our designs feature a mix of metal and wood with strong emphasis on local materials like rainwood and rubberwood. Even the marble we use is locally sourced,” says Wong. “Everything is 100% made in Malaysia and we feel that there’s a market out there that is looking for well-made, well-designed and unique pieces for their home. There are only two units of each design in our collection, so you can be assured of something original and creative.” Nothing in the collection can be considered expensive with prices starting at RM600 for a side console table to RM1,800 for a sideboard, giving one enough reason to visit the duo’s space on the sixth level of The Gardens Mall post-haste.  

 

13Vv By White and Bremen Wong, The Studio, Level 6, The Gardens Mall, Kuala Lumpur