Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women: Tunku Elana Khyra

BAZAAR’s Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women from each year return to celebrate fabulous fashion and extraordinary moments. Presenting the luminaries, from original top models to world-class journalists, architects, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and wellness gurus—in a class of their own.

Tunku Elana Khyra

Founder of the Hilltop House Kindergarten

Dress; bracelet; and boots, all from Chanel.

Tunku Elana Khyra may be a full-time royal and daughter of prominent businessman Tunku Dato’ Yaacob Khyra, but she isn’t shy of tossing her hair back and breaking into fits of giggles as she holds up the image of herself in a superhero pose, from the ‘Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women’ shoot with BAZAAR just two years ago. Gushing about the character she got to play—the Bond girl that gets to call the shots and having 007 as her sidekick—Tunku Elana is all about taking charge of whatever comes her way.

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This is precisely the reason she started The Hilltop House Kindergarten, where she’s created character development programmes for children ages 1 to 6. “General education in Malaysia focuses a lot on improving your current weaknesses. For example, if you are bad at math, you’re expected to keep going at it until you get better. However, at Hilltop, I want kids to have a more holistic education, so they can learn about their own personalities, find their strengths, and focus on nurturing that. It’s about setting a different mindset,” she says.

Her role on the board of trustees at The Budimas Charitable Foundation also further cements her status as a superhero to young children. “At Budimas, we not only provide breakfast for underprivileged children, but also, hold entrepreneurial programmes for kids to flex their creativity and pick up skill sets for the future. It’s about giving them that sense of confidence before they face the real world.”  

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TUNKU ELANA KHYRA, in BAZAAR December 2016 ‘Malaysia’s Most Stylish Women’: “Besides seeing my fantasy of being a female 007 come to life, I also got to meet, listen to, and be inspired by accomplished and strong women.”