We spoke to the brains and founder of the footwear label, Tease, who’s already building a name for herself among shoe lovers and brides of Malaysia.

Image credit: Instagram/@tease.kl

You may or may not have heard of Tease, but catch a glimpse of Tasnim Hisham’s timeless designs, and you will want a pair of your own too. After making its debut in late 2019, the label is slowly capturing the hearts of dreamers who crave a piece of Tease. She’s got the slender designs, vivid tones to choose from, and intricate embellishments to look dazzling for every occasion. Tasnim, who has always been in the fashion industry has never thought she would be doing what she’s doing today if it wasn’t for her time spent working at Innai Red. In time, her passion for designing shoes became one of her outlets and she’s now crafting shoes for every bride-to-be in Malaysia, one step at a time.

Check out our interview with the lovely Tasnim on her journey, her favourite Tease style and what was her most rewarding moments since launching her brand.

Image credit: Instagram/@tease.kl

(Hero & Featured image credit: Instagram/Tease)

Why the name Tease? Is there a story behind it?

The name Tease or T’s was actually my mother’s playful idea around my name which starts with the letter T! I instantly fell in love with it and thought that it was special to name the brand the way it is.

What inspired you to start your brand?

My family, husband, and friends inspired me to start my own brand. I was constantly getting requests from them to design clothes, as I have been involved in the fashion industry for a few years. Believe it or not, I have never intended to be a footwear designer as my passion was always towards designing and making clothes. However, my interest in footwear started when I was working for the local fashion house, Innai Red. Besides assisting in designing clothes for the label, most of the time I had to create accessories and find inspiration for a particular collection and come up with the concept, the styling and had the chance to play around with a lot of shoes! Gradually, my passion for clothes slowly shifted, as I leaned towards creating looks or fitting a look through footwear.

Pick three words to perfectly describe the identity of your brand.

Quirky, bold, and authentic.

Image credit: Instagram/@tease.kl

 

How has the journey been so far? We see many brides customising their very own Tease to wear on their special day.

Alhamdulillah, it has been amazing. The response was really unexpected. I started by making customised heels for my own wedding back in October 2020. From there, I thought that it would be a good opportunity to customise shoes for brides-to-be and shoe lovers who intend to have a personalised design that does not break the bank. Since posting my wedding photos on my social media platforms, the orders slowly started coming in. The excitement of getting to design someone’s shoes really pushes me to challenge myself in understanding their preferences and different personalities in creating their dream heels. I feel honoured and grateful to be part of their journey.

Can you give us a breakdown of what the process is like when customising a pair?

Start by sending us an email or a DM on Instagram. Then, we’ll go through ideas and designs together by deciding on colour choices, fabrics and/or embellishments. By customising a pair with us, the customer can choose from a variety of 1- to 6-inch heels. Once that’s done, I will sketch a few final designs where you can add or make small changes before the production stage. Upon confirmation, it will then take us three weeks to complete their dream shoes.

 

 

 

How do you start your creative process before releasing a new collection?

Before I start designing, I will usually walk around the house and just look at furniture and artwork, or even the garden to find inspirations. I will then reflect it in my designs where shape, texture and colour come into mind. These three factors are so important as they will result in a pair of statement shoes that resembles Tease’s aesthetics. The most important thing is the comfort of the shoes as it plays a big part not only in design but also in functionality.

What was the first style/sketch of Tease pair that you created that pushed you to start your brand?

The first shoe that made an impact was Jinx, a pair of sandals that came in rose gold/bronze and had a statement 1-inch gold heel. Jinx has its own character and defines Tease’s brand identity that began with a deep passion to innovate the footwear game in Malaysia with simplicity, injected with the brand’s reinvented motifs. It’s the idea of playing it safe while being a fashion risk-taker by adding boldness and character.

Jinx (Image credit: Instagram/@tease.kl)

 

What has been your most popular style?

Jinx and Sass, because they can go with almost any look. Perhaps I should restock them with more colour options soon.

If you were to pick a favourite from your collection, which one would it be and why?

Sass, because it was a sold-out design when I had the chance to join Rizalman’s Garage Sale in March 2020. Also, Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah was one of the lovely buyers and Tuanku copped a pair for herself in the colour orange/burgundy.

Since your launch in 2019, what has been the most rewarding moment for you so far?

The most rewarding moment for me was when Dato’ Rizalman Ibrahim gave me the opportunity to work with him for his 2020 Zalora fashion show, ‘Kesuma Jiwa’ which was Tease’s first runway collaboration featuring brand new designs and silhouettes. It was definitely a milestone for me and the brand.

Lastly, what does IWD mean to you and what does it mean to be a woman in today’s society?

International Women’s Day is about celebrating us. We have to pat ourselves on the back for all the sacrifices we made as mothers, daughters, wives and sisters on how far we have come to spread kindness, positivity, encouragement and support to everyone out there. My mother is one of my inspirations when it comes to designing Tease. I would always come home to a house decorated with vivid colours, furniture and a wardrobe of statement pieces that truly resembles my mother as a confident and independent woman. My identity comes from how I feel in the clothes I wear to the shoes I put on as it’s a reflection of looking up to my mother my whole life. It’s deeper than just choosing material and colour to go with each other. The shoes are a symbol of strength and womanhood that I hold onto very dearly. In today’s society, I feel blessed to have the support of other women all around the world who give me the inspiration to get through the tough times, and know that we will always have each other.

Amalina Anuar
Senior Writer
A writer by day and spin instructor by night. Amalina fuels her day with anything that’s covered in chocolate and breaking a sweat in the spin studio. With fashion and music as inspiration, you can find her obsessing over her favourite artist's music videos or swaying to funky tunes at live gigs.