For Londoners, the festive season of joy is always one to look forward to at the end of every year. For South East Asians, our answer to the glorious Boxing Day is Jovian Mandagie’s annual JBOXING event. Previously held in Bangsar, Shah Alam and Kota Kinabalu, this is the first time that the event has been held on foreign land, much to the delight of Jovian’s loyal Bruneian patrons (from here on referred to as Jovianators for the convenience and satisfaction of the author). With the joint organisation of Baiduri Bank Group and Bruneian bespoke tailor and multi-label retailer, Bajoo Butik, the highly requested three-day sale is set for a surefire success.
Riding the escalator leading to the Indera Kayangan ballroom at Empire Hotel and Country Club, it’s near impossible to miss the long, snaking line of eager shoppers. A tinge of tangible tension pervades the air, spurred by an eager crowd just itching to lay their hands on the acclaimed designer’s first bag collection, The Jovian Borsa. Husbands coolly queue alongside their wives, low-key looking forward to exploring the brand’s men’s line while tending to distracted children who are also party to the Jboxing experience thanks to the Lisa Surihani kid’s collection. It’s family day for Jovianators and everyone wants in on it.
With the expected number of attendees at a cool 15,000, each shopper is provided with a queue number and given a limited amount of minutes of roaming freedom in the hall to pick their favourite pieces and an extra ten minutes in the fitting room. With only ten shoppers allowed in at a time, there is a certain sense of urgency, not unlike a warehouse sale version of the Hunger Games. The entire time, the designer himself walks around the queuing area jovially taking pictures with adoring fans, posing for selfies which he is clearly only too happy to do.
Once inside, the atmosphere is much calmer as one takes in the polite excitement in the air as customers briskly walk around carefully choosing their pieces which will no doubt be shown off during upcoming Raya celebrations.
The clothes itself are sold mostly between a range of BND50 to BND250 with generous discounts displayed on the price tags. There is something for everyone, from dressy yet casual tops to full-on embroidered garments to sultry lace-covered pieces; women Jovianators are spoiled for choice.
Modest male jubahs hang on racks while the Bajoo’ racks sees a pastel flurry of frilly tutu kurungs for the mini fashionistas. Proudly displayed on the racks are also ensembles from the Savannah Collection for Zalora Fashion as well as the opulent JLuxe Collection.
From May 5th to May 7th, be sure to pop in anytime at the Indera Kayangan Ballroom between two to ten pm for a quick look at what the sale has to offer. “We are very much ready to shake the city with a new experience of shopping,” Jovian says in anticipation of the event. Judging from the promising turnout of the very first day, it’s safe to say that not only has Brunei taken very strongly to the first ever Jboxing event of hopefully many more to come, but it has been truly shaken through and through.