5 Pink Minutes with Izrin Ismail

The Pink Project designer collaborative sees five of Malaysia’s top fashion names working with BAZAAR to design limited edition pink ribbons to be given away on our citywide mission to increase breast cancer awareness. Celest Thoi, Sonny San for Eclipse, Izrin Ismail for Innai, Khoon Hooi, and Sereni and Shentel have been wonderfully supportive in their creation of unique pink ribbons that are the signifier of the breast cancer awareness campaign. BAZAAR’s Pink Project that started 9 years ago with the Nick Munro for Royal Selangor jelly mould has grown from strength-to-strength with the support of Malaysian celebrities like Bernie Chan, Jojo Struys, Asha Gill, Elaine Daly, Stephanie Chai, and many more. These phenomenal women have always come together in gorgeous editorial shoots styled by BAZAAR Malaysia’s creative director, Kenneth Goh where they have shared inspiring messages with BAZAAR readers. This year, BAZAAR strengthens the project in encouraging women to do their monthly self-examinations and to schedule their annual mammograms — because early detection of this disease saves lives!
Please join us on our Pink Crusade, post a picture of yourself on Instagram, wearing pink and with the pledge to do something in your community to raise breast cancer awareness. Use the hashtags #BAZAARPinkProject and #PledgeInPink, and tag three of your friends to make their own Pledge in Pink. Be creative, have fun and inspire with your pink pledge, let’s make a difference with every post!

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Izrin Ismail

Harper’s BAZAAR: Have you had a personal experience with breast cancer?
Izrin IsmailMy grandmother died of breast cancer  13 years ago and watching her battle the disease was painful. Thankfully, she was granted strength to keep calm while she endured the pain and redha (acceptance that she was afflicted with this illness). That doesn’t mean she didn’t fight cancer, she did. She went through a mastectomy, and medical treatment. She fought the disease with real grace. It was amazing to see the care she was given by my grandfather, parents, aunts and uncles. My aunt, who is a doctor would come every day to her home to change her dressing before heading to work. My grandfather and other aunts and uncles took turns to watch over her, take her to the holy land, Mecca. When I look back on it, it was their dedication of time, care and love, that made my late grandmother calm whilst battling cancer. That’s something many lack these days as we’re so busy running our worldly routines. We should never take things for granted.

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HB: What was the inspiration for your Pink Ribbon?
II: I wanted traditional and handmade elements to my pink ribbon, so I used batik. I incorporated Innai’s siganture batik design called the Biby. You don’t quite get to see the print because the ribbons are small, you only get to see splashes of pinks and yellows to it.  But the initial big piece I worked on in order to get these ribbons was an abstract geometric motif. Also, I choose to work incorporate yellow, because I feel yellow boosts positivity, brightness and optimism. It’s a very uplifting colour.


Izrin Ismail’s #BAZAARPinkProject 2015 limited edition ribbon 

HB: What is the secret to great design?
II: Honesty. You can’t be 50-50 in love with the things you design or produce, it has to be 100%. And that, makes for great design.

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HB: What is the one thing you know now, that you really wish you knew then?
II: That being a mother is an extremely beautiful feeling and it also has its sensitivities. And that special bond you create with your child can’t be described. It has only been two years for me, and my son hasn’t hurt my feelings, yet. But I now understand how it must’ve felt for my mother for all the wrongdoings I’ve done directly or indirectly to her. Something I’m not proud of, but at least I know how much it hurts now that I’m a mother.

The Izrin Ismail for Innai limited edition designer ribbon will be distributed with the BAZAAR Pink Project x Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) Mobile Unit. Catch us throughout the month of October 2015 at KLCC, MidValley Mega Mall, Uptown 7, The Mandarin Oriental and Pavilion KL. Also available as a special set with the October issue for RM10 at Kinokuniya @Suria KLCC from Oct 2. Proceeds to go to BCWA Malaysia.