Tarik has come a long way since their beginning, and has made waves across the local fashion industry as the go to brand for jeans with a taste for the streets. We managed to catch up with Jiman, one of the heads of Tarik to talk about how much the brand has grown, its landmark achievements, and how Tarik got its name.
Tell us a little about your company’s brand story. How did the initial idea come up, what makes it uniquely Malaysian, and what powers your team?
Tarik Jeans is a homegrown streetwear premium denim brand that embraces the Malaysian and Nusantara identity of diversity.
Founded in Penang, Malaysia in 2010, Tarik is regarded as a pioneer in the scene and the brand immediately received a lot of attention. This mainly came from the cultivated Malaysian youth, especially those in tune with street fashion and an interest in denim.
The brand was inspired by Afiq Iskandar, who is also a member of the rock band, Oh Chentaku (OCK). His passion for music and Malaysian culture laid the foundations for Tarik.
In 2015, Jiman Casablancas joined Tarik. With Jiman on board, the brand took on one of its most challenging attempt – to participate in Malaysia’s biggest fashion event, the KL Fashion Week (KLFW).
Last year marks Tarik’s second presence at the event and has successfully carved a name for itself as one of the best and most innovative shows in KLFW’s calendar. In 2017 alone, Tarik has launched five different campaigns namely its new and updated premium denim, limited edition Type II trucker jacket (super premium – only 12 were produced and each one numbered), a collaboration with an Indonesian denim brand, Mihane, to produce Type I trucker jacket, a collaboration with Kronoz to produce 60 pairs of premium denim to commemorate Malaysia’s 60th Merdeka anniversary and of course, it’s Nusa Bencana collection for KLFW2017.
Tarik’s success is largely attributed to the quality of its products. The label prides itself in being not just any denim label. At Tarik, fashion and lifestyle are imbued with deep philosophy to connect with denim lovers of all ages, beliefs and background.
The brand still carefully select each material and works very closely with its production facility in Bandung and Kuala Lumpur to ensure the quality; and that all specifications are met.
Today, the range of Tarik’s products have expanded beyond jeans and T-shirts to shirts, jackets, bags, caps and other unique novelty items. Another contributing factor is the brand’s close relationship with the country’s music and activism fraternity. With Tarik, denim enthusiasts in Malaysia have an option to mix their modern personality while maintaining their heritage and culture.
What do you think that your brand brings to the table that keeps customers coming back?
It’s the word ‘Tarik’ itself. The word ‘Tarik’ is something all Malaysians understand, and it’s
created along the lines of our philosophy. Locals of all ages are familiar with the nation’s favourite pastime of going to a ‘mamak’ stall and ordering a ‘Teh Tarik’. Tarik’s main mascot of a man cooling the tea with the distinctive ‘tarik’ action resonates very well to our target audience. (Note: Our other mascot is the elusive ‘Tapir’).
Previously, the only selling point that local brands had was the fact that they were local and nothing beyond that. Most local streetwear brands did not pay attention to the quality, choice of material and the emotional pull of their brand. Tarik saw an opportunity to fill that gap. A brand which could give quality and progressive designs while staying true to the local culture. It is patriotism at its best.
What best describes the user/audience/buyer of your brand in three words?
We’ll give you four. Informed. Proud. Humble. Stylish.
What advice do you have for young Malaysians looking to strike out on their own?
Set your mind to it. Work out a plan. Execute.
Any new launches/promotions/releases that we can look forward to for end of the year?
Other than our online store (www.tarik.my), we’ve just added two new doors from where our friends and clients could obtain our products – at Robinsons, The Gardens KL and Tiga Moto Supply, The Gasket Alley. We are very proud of these two new additions. Other than that, we are also available at Kronoz (KL and JB), Major Drop (Sunway Pyramid) and Lokal Lab in Penang. We are hoping to add one more door to this list by the end of the year. We have a list of exciting projects that’s still in the midst of discussion – a few collaborations as well. But we prefer to keep them under wraps for the time being.