How the Liu Sisters Built a PR Empire for the Fashion Industry and Named it “The Clique”

Liu sisters

Learn all about the professionals who unleash fashion faces onto the world stage
“Where do you want to go?” A question every PR agency will ask their clients yet not all agencies will be bold enough to say “Let’s go international” and actually make it happen.

The Clique is known for its discerning taste and distinct methodology in PR, Brand Management and Consulting. They can be best described as a fraternity of well-curated fashion talents, propelling Indonesia’s fashion talents onto the global fashion map. In essence, empowering one another through affiliation has become their specialty since their incorporation in December 2016.
Through human, social and knowledge capital, they’ve developed global networks, strategic synergies and genuine trusting relationships with a portfolio of talents and embraced a vision to achieve more through as a strong collective. They believe in a unique methodology that ensures talents are foundationally reorganized and or revamped aesthetically to suit international taste.
Victor magazine got a chance to get up close and personal with the Liu sisters of The Clique. Fascinating stories behind those unique minds who were able to elevate so many Indonesian designers into the world with their original storytelling and brand creation.

Tell us how did you get started and lead you to become the founders of The Clique?
Faye: I was a graduate of International Relations at Boston university and JJ in Philosophy, where we joined the family’s apparel business, established in Indonesia in the early 70s. This experience helped develop our business, The Clique, acumen and networks across various sectors including expertise in the global apparel industry. Despite being expatriates, Indonesia holds an important place for our family and plays a key role in accessing untapped creative potential in Indonesia, it became a fitting vocation.
Mine and my sister (JJ) fashion direction meant we got to work together to oversee the corporate vision, management of large-scale project participations and business strategies. I had an intense interest in fashion as a teen and naturally influenced my younger sister, which made us become fluent in fashion despite not pursuing education in fashion schools.

Can you share with us some of the Indonesian designers’ names that The Clique has popularised among Hollywood and Asian celebrities?
The Indonesian designers are Rinaldy Yunardi, Monica Ivena, Maison Met by Mety Choa, Didi Budiardjo and Thang Shoes. We have collaborated with over 200 international celebrities since the inception of The Clique in 2016. We are very proud of the achievements of our designers.
Which designers have been the biggest influence on you?
Faye: Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld have the biggest influence on me. I admire their forward thinking aesthetics and unwavering attention to detail. It is an amazing feat to have timeless designs that are still relevant with ease of wear and are applicable to the current world we live in.
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel
From your point of view and experience, who are the up-and-coming Indonesian fashion names you believe will make it worldwide?
Rinaldy Yunardi, Monica Ivena and Maison Met are the 3 names under The Clique that I believe will make it worldwide as they have clear brand DNA and carved out a niche in their businesses both Indonesia and abroad.
How do you make each brand you work with shine? What are the steps you take when working with a new brand and how do you push their story to the world?
Whenever we work with a new brand, we first understand the history of its inception. We review the short and long term goals with all our designers. After establishing a deeper understanding, we work on rebranding the brand image to cater to an international audience.
The work involves brand consultation, fashion direction, fashion styling, and strategic celebrity placement curating and nurturing the talent and presenting it to the world. We look for grit and resilience in our talents on top of all the other critical creative factors.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for new designers starting and what advice do you give them from a PR point of view?
The biggest challenge for new designers is finding a clear brand image and identity while navigating the shifts in retail. It saves a lot of marketing expenses via social media. There are easier ways to reach the customer with technology.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
Social media has cultivated brand awareness and the increased awareness allows fashion brands to create instant connections with customers.
With the rise of social media, fashion brands have started to recognize the benefits of creating a voice for their brand and engaging with their customers on popular social media platforms. It’s a necessary tool for fashion brands to have longevity by connecting with the upcoming generations.
How is the South East Asian industry making waves in the fashion world? If we look at the fashion industry in the next decade, what do you think will be South East Asia’s position in the design world?
There are a lot of emerging talents from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam that have successfully penetrated into international markets such as Rinaldy Yunardi, Michael Cinco, Lynn Bann and Cong Tri.
The myriad of cultural diversity combined with deeply embedded western influence in its history serves as great foundations to be translated and modernized for the fashion business. South-East Asia’s population of over 670 million is about 8.5% of the global population, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world at 270 million and has one of the highest numbers of digital users.
In the next decade, with the developments of beneficial trade agreements between Asian nations to increase the Asian bloc prosperity; South-East Asian designers will play an increasingly significant role in the fashion industry as the nations enhance their creative and manufacturing sectors.
On top of that, the rapid digitalization of these emerging economies will benefit from its fairly young population that are digitally savvy. As the world embraces diversity, curiosity and interest in talents from other cultures will pique globally, and social media will continue to play an important role in increasing the awareness of these talents globally.
The Clique sees these potentials hence we believe it is important to prepare talents creatively while ensuring a strong back-end for business activities as relying on talent alone will not suffice.
The clique has been shaping so many of the designers in the Indonesian fashion industry and we can’t wait to see how they push forward in the coming years with their boldness and ambitions.

Liu sisters

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