Since 2012, we have embarked on an exhilarating journey, one that is full of twists and turns that lead to the creation and start of a brand filled with years and years of history and perfected with experience. As with every storied journey, we got our start being supported by fellow local powerhouses and heroes. Ours happened to be the artisans and artists surrounding us.
At the very beginning of the label’s history, veteran artist Sivam Selvaratnam collaborated with Nelissa herself to create pairs of wearable pieces. Along with the very ethos of the brand, every piece created carries a meaning and purpose behind it. For the brands very first collaboration, the pieces drew inspiration from “Rapt in Maya” by Sivam Selvaratnam. An exhibition that was created with the artists’ remarkable achievements as an artist and her 50th wedding anniversary. This sparked a tradition in the brand to continuously work with and support new and up and coming artists.
Artist Sivam Sevaratnam with the wearable pieces she created in 2012 with Nelissa Hilman.
These collaborations extend to supporting new art collectives especially during the pandemic during the past few years. Outlet Kuala Lumpur, an independent art collective helping to forward and highlight small and young artists was such an organisation that we have had the privilege to work with. This partnership allowed us to continuously help the community out while working with different creatives under the collective with different mediums and approaches to art. The partnership also allowed us to help feature the artists and their artworks at our store and provide them with a platform to grow and generate revenue from. While collaborations and commissions has always been a key component of our work with creatives, our series of exhibitions with Outlet has almost exclusively been a feature with little influence and interpretation from the brand save “Tiga Pemimpi” with Ika Sharom.
Sisters and art lovers, Dana and Elina of Outlet KL with their installation for Nelissa Hilman
On the left, Afi Sulaiman's installation Return To Your Roots
Our work with Outlet extended to celebrating women by working with artist, Ika Sharom on merchandise in support of International Women’s Day. Nelissa Hilman is a label lead by women supporting women and we continue to echo and portray these values through our work and intentional choices.
Ika Sharom's installation, Tiga Pemimpi and during the making of-of the piece.
Our work championing art and our community has also allowed us to collaborate with Sharina Shahrin for #pinktober in 2017. The installation was a physical representation and interpretation on breast cancer statistics in Malaysia where 1 out of 20 women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime or have dealt with a friend or family member who has or had breast cancer and acts as a reminder of it’s presence in our lives.
Sharina Shahrin for Pinktober in 2017.
These collaborations also sometimes happen to be works that feature a deeper connection between the artist and us. For our work with Trina Teoh, we selected works from her April 2022 debut solo exhibition at Hin Bus Depot with a focus on the intricacies of connection and emotion. These artworks were prominently displayed in our storefront and also painted onto our wall. After careful curation, we also produced merchandise in the form of postcards with pictures of Trina’s sculptures exhibited during her show in Penang.
Trina Teoh for Nelissa Hilman, 2022
Our 11 year experience and work with such inspiring creatives has definitely continued to fuel our love for both art and functionality. A combination that we have constantly extended into our designs from our ready to wear collections to heels. Our space in Bangsar Village in the meantime will continue to be a space and platform for all creatives and young artists to continue to be featured on. We love the work we have done and we look forward to continuing championing our ethos and ideals through creative avenues. We thank you for lending us the support that has given us this space to grow from.