The Clique—a young PR, brand consulting, and brand management agency—has successfully catapulted Indonesian designers onto the world stage through clever curating and storytelling. Mariel Grazella writes
Katy Perry, Nicky Minaj and Cassie Ventura. These are just some of the superstars who have donned the creations of Indonesian designers at storied occasions ranging from the opulent Met Gala 2017 to hit music videos.
Accessories maestro Rinaldy Yunardi may have been the fashioner behind the stars’ buzzworthy pieces, but there was another “designer” behind Rinaldi. The Clique, a public-relations, brand consulting, and management company, arranged for Yunardi and fellow Indonesian designers to connect with major celebrities.
“Together with our affiliate East West Co., a fashion apparel and digital content design team, we craft unique formulas of storytelling to enhance the depth and breadth of brands,” says Faye Liu, The Clique’s Fashion Director.
As Fashion Director, Faye plays a fundamental role in curating and nurturing designers within The Clique’s portfolio, enabling her to then carry out the necessary public relations activities for strategic celebrity placements.
Together with her sister, JJ Liu, who is the business strategist responsible for brand commercialisation, Faye established The Clique in 2016 after a collaborative project with Rinaldy two years before had piqued her interest in propelling Indonesia’s designers onto the world stage.
“What began as a casual endeavour became something more substantial as Rinaldy requested me to start a company promoting Indonesian talent in fashion to the world; he then entrusted his namesake brand into our hands,” she says. “It is a grand ambition, but we believe that through strategic moves as well as genuine and trusting relationships, it is achievable.”
Today, The Clique has an impressive portfolio of top fashion faces, including Didi Budiarjo, Adrian Gan, Eddy Betty, and emerging talents such as Monica Ivena, Maison Met, and Thang Shoes.
According to Faye, international stars “love the intricate details of Indonesian designers”.
“Indonesia is a country with an extremely rich culture, and I think Indonesian designers are able to create complex designs compared with foreign brands,” Faye says, adding that a childhood growing up immersed in Eastern and Western cultures helped her translate and direct Indonesian influences into “something aesthetically current and desirable”.
To date, The Clique has popularised Indonesian designers among Hollywood and Asian celebrities such as Dita von Teese, Erykah Badu, Zoe Saldana, Karlie Kloss, Aaron Kwok, Sammi Cheng, Jolin Tsai, and Clara Lee.
“For the Met Gala 2017, we accessorised Cassie Ventura in a pair of Rinaldy Yunardi diamante starburst ear cuffs, which were then selected by Vogue.com as one of the 16 best jewellery and accessories items during the Gala,” says Faye.
“That was a double-whammy win for Indonesia: dressing a Hollywood celebrity and receiving a nod of approval from Vogue at the Met Gala, the most exclusive fashion event organised annually by Anna Wintour,” she adds.
As for the Eastern markets, Faye shares with Indonesia Tatler that The Clique has partnered with China’s leading production house to support a television programme that would be aired by a main station in that country.
“It is an extremely exciting project, as it marks a huge milestone in the collaboration between Indonesia’s and China’s creative industries,” she says, adding that the collaboration would kickstart “many more Indonesia-China exchanges and opportunities in both fashion and media”.
She adds that in the next three years The Clique has set its focus on enhancing the quality of results it delivers, thus allowing it to capture even better opportunities abroad. “We want to build a company with which people are proud to be affiliated and belong; to become a trusted name that people can rely on to deliver excellence through fashion,” Faye notes.
On a more personal note, being a mother of two has influenced Faye’s fashion choices, from what to wear to whom to admire. On clothes, she prefers “muted and monochromic colours with sophisticated, bold yet effortless cutting”.
The entrepreneur, who bases her leadership on empowerment, leading change, and sharing a vision, names Victoria Beckham as the person she most admires. “I admire her as she has successfully established a namesake brand that is recognised by the fashion industry. Despite her busy schedule she has managed to strike the perfect balance between her professional and private lives,” says Faye.