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5 Pink Minutes with Khoon Hooi

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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Khoon Hooi

Harper’s BAZAAR: Have you personally been touched by breast cancer in your life?
Khoon Hooi: I have to say that I do take serious precautions when it comes to the subject of cancer in general as my grandaunt had breast cancer and she suffered terribly in the final stages of the disease. Sadly, she gave her last breath to it. I never expected that someone close to me would be battling this disease, and I wouldn’t want myself or anyone else to be the next. So, after our family heard the news, all of us learned the way to do breast self-examination to detect if there’re any early signs of breast cancer among us — you know, both genders are susceptible to it, even if it is definitely more prevalent among women. The thing to remember is that cancer does not practise gender discrimination.

HB: What was the inspiration for your Pink Ribbon specifically? What did you want it to say?
KH: In truth, when you look at the almost raw, unstructured design of my Pink Ribbon design, what I’m trying to imply is that even when times are tough and it appears that things are falling apart, what we need to do is stay strong and hold on together — it’s the greatest thing you can do, to stitch the bonds that hold us together as friends and family and give support. Sometimes — that’s what really gets us through — in tandem with medical treatment, of course.

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Khoon Hooi’s #BAZAARPinkProject 2015 limited edition ribbon 

HB: A big part of beating this illness is attitude and staying positive. What are some of the things you can share with our audience that you do to stay positive and upbeat despite life’s constant challenges?
KH: Surround yourself with great people, people who are always positive and who pour hope and gratitude into everything they do. I think the people around us influence our lives in many different ways that we may not notice, so do make sure you’re in a comfortable circle. When I’m in difficult times, I always tell myself that ‘it is not the end of the world’, it may sound cliche but somehow it works for me. There will always be that chance for you to rise up or make a comeback — as long the world is still spinning, never give up.

HB: What is the secret, or rather, Your secret to great design?
KH: Understanding your imagination and, in turn, realising it.

The Khoon Hooi 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.