In recent light there has been an unfortunate incident regarding Pestle & Mortar Clothing copying a Proton Saga design released by Haziq Jenal in June 2018. Subsequently we, as PMC have reached out to Haziq Jenal to explain the scenario.
In regards to Haziq reaching out personally to me in June 2018 is true. Haziq sent a graphic of his work via Instagram to my personal account and acknowledged his work and commented on its quality. During the same time, we were in fact already in the process of developing our upcoming Merdeka Capsule and in the daily grind of running the brand, it slipped my mind on following up on a reply and for that I truly apologise. I can understand how the timeline of events appear to show that we had stolen his designs, but if you continue reading, you may see otherwise.
We receive numerous requests for partnerships & collaborations almost on a weekly basis across different channels. We plan our calendars 6-8 months ahead of time and it’s often difficult to jump in midway through projects that are already in motion. We try our very best to reply & follow up on each one of them, but sometimes conversations do slip through the cracks and end abruptly because things do get a little hectic & busy.
This incident has saddened me and the team tremendously as some very hurtful and rude things were said in public by people without understanding the entire story. We created Pestle & Mortar Clothing back in 2010 with the idea of a brand that represented who we are as Malaysians. Since the very beginning we have been highlighting culture & heritage of Malaysia and SEA. We continue to aspire to be a brand that Malaysians can call their own and rep proudly wherever they are.
The PMC team has been working on this Proton Saga concept since August 2016 and this design has been a work in progress leading up to our 2018 Merdeka Capsule launch initially set for 23rd August 2018. One of our ex-designers was the first to work on this print over a bowling shirt silhouette, it went to sampling in September 2017. The only sample between then and today is one that I’ve been wearing over several different occasions.
Another Proton Saga concept was introduced between Major Drop and another local brand in February 2018. A little different take on things, but the collaboration was unfortunately on hold due to clashing timelines. This would have been the second time that we were toying around with a Proton Saga idea.
In May 2018 PMC initiated a custom lab concept that revolved around 2 designs at the Pestle & Mortar Clothing Flagship Store in Bangsar. One of them again was another representation of the Proton Saga by one of our current designers. This print ran all the way till July 2018. This would have been the 3rd time that we’ve experimented with this national icon.
As you can probably see ideas do not come overnight. A lot of our work we put out takes months and some even years to develop. We take a lot of pride in the work that we do and this is the same mantra we aspire to continue to do.
Now that we’ve explained our side of the story, we don’t intend to shame or judge anyone, but to inject sensibility to those who have had an opinion on it. We thank you and are encouraged by the support, for both us and Haziq. It’s shown that we’re a community that’s passionate about the work that we do, let’s continue to grow towards that with the right frame of mind and means to do so.