Hailing from Kuching, jetsetters Sereni Linggi and Shentel Lee are continuously carving their mark in the fashion scene with the birth of their revolutionary headband label, Sereni and Shentel. Sassy, sexy and obviously quirky, Shentel and Sereni headbands have received not just rave reviews and chic lauds from fashion editors and bloggers, but also craved by discerning fashionistas and trendsetting celebrities.
Even the Miss Universe contestants too fell for their headbands when Malaysia’s very own Deborah Priya Henry presented them in beautifully crafted boxes at this year’s pageant in São Paulo.
Kuching is a small city and although we both travel a lot there were many a weekends where we found ourselves with simply nothing to do. We both share a love for the handmade and decided one weekend to make headbands for a Lady Gaga concert that we were attend in Singapore.
The reaction that we received from the concert crowd was overwhelming. Sereni and I were bombarded by photographers and taken by all the Singaporeans asking us where we got our headbands from.
Shentel even made it into the newspapers the next day for the headband that we made. It wasn’t until we had the opportunity to create hair accessories for a Tatler Shoot in the Philippines when we really started to get serious. Sereni got to meet the hair guru Kim Robinson at the shoot and after his praise for the range we decided that we would start a small online store to showcase our designs.
A lot of our inspiration comes from our Mother's as well as visual pin boards that we create from clippings and bit and pieces that find their way into our handbags through our travels.
Some of our ideas are amazing and many of them get thrown in the bin. The bad designs are the most memorable for us, as we tend to laugh about them over coffee. As the saying goes, "It's so bad, it's so good!" Our designs do take time to create. Some have taken months to get right.
Our Blair and Blockspirations are a range of headbands that are created weekly and are influenced by visuals that we see in magazines. We are collectors and love to look back at past spreads for inspiration.
All our headbands are handmade in our Kuching workshop. An order can take up to 9 days to complete depending on our schedule. All headbands are placed on our list on a first come first serve basis.
We would love for all the materials to be made in Borneo and when we do find a supplier we would switch in a heartbeat.
Right now our materials are sourced from all over the world, but our personally trained artisans hand sew each and every headband. Some headbands require up to three people to complete it. It is a labour of Borneo love.
Our headbands are hand sewn and not machine made. We do not make them in bulk oversees. All our headbands are shipped for free within Malaysia and are packaged in beautiful canvas bags. We think that they are investment pieces worth having.
We also do repairs on headbands for our clients if their headbands ever get into a shabby condition. This is a service we pride on. Of course, if you snap your headband their isn't much we can do but we do try our best if it is repairable.
Lady Gaga, Madonna and Elton John.
Upper East side! We love Gossip Girl. Blair knows what she wants and always gets it and we adore her for it.
The first look book was all about how we saw the brand. We designed them for ourselves and we wanted to share with others who we are, what the brand is and where is came from. All the photos were taken in Kuching in places we actually live and breathe in. Some of the pictures may seem a bit over the top but that is who we really are. Our motto is "Be seen or GO HOME!"
The special headband that you created as national gift to be auctioned off during the Miss Universe pageant is certainly breathtaking. Judging from its meticulousness, I must say it took long working hours to design it.
Now that Sereni and Shentel headbands have made it to the Miss Universe, thanks to our own beauty Deborah Henry, the possibility for Sereni and Shentel to tap new and bigger markets such as Brazil, India, China, the Middle East, United States and Europe is already there. What say you?
BRING IT ON!
*Photos courtesy of Sereni and Shentel.