Written by Nur Izzati Abdul Aziz
Vivy Sofinas Yusof, or better known as Vivy Yusof, is a beauty with brain and definitely the one and only. Her name alone has shown commercial value despite her famous brand, Fashion Valet, but nothing comes in second. She started as a blogger back in college when she was still in London. Vivy loves sharing about life, love, and fashion. Sounds typical, isn’t it? Vivy has a flair for writing and enticing people to keep on reading. She gathered hundreds to thousands of followers since few years back as it was the only platform where people love to read or in another word being an “observer” because social media was still not in trend back then.
Some people said that you don’t need official business certificates to start a business and who would have thought this business minded lady is a law degree holder from London School of Economics and has no business and fashion background. While living in London, she enjoyed having the technologicaladvancement or to be exact ‘the advancement of shopping’. Vivy and her husband, Fadzarudin met when they were students in London, and shared the same passion for online shopping. When they returned home to Malaysia, they realized that they missed the convenience of online shopping as they enjoyed before in the UK. The story behind the idea of Fashion Valet sparked after they found that they had to drive all over Kuala Lumpur to find their favourite designer brand. They drove in the rain and found themselves frustrated that they were unable to have what they want under one roof. Hence, a new idea came from the hustle and frustration.
Starting a business with a new concept is never easy. People will hesitate and question you if not themselves whether it is the right thing to do or not. RTW (ready-to-wear) was not that big in 2010, and this is the concept Vivy tried to urge the designer to give a try and being skeptical was a normal reaction but nothing can stop this girl in becoming a wonder woman. From a RM100, 000 capital, 10 designers and a staff of 20, FV grew to 500 brands and hundreds of staffs in just seven years with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta. She did a lot of collaborations with local designers and not to mention international designers too such as from Singapore, Jakarta, Brunei, London and a few more. This is how Vivy did her marketing strategy in order to penetrate international market and followers other than in local. To prove how this woman is on another level, she’s making a bigger name by collaborating her label with the Brunei Royal Family, Princess Sarah the wife of Crown Prince of Brunei, Al-Muhtadee Billah, who is first in line to inherit the throne.
Being an urban career woman, Vivy definitely knows how to utilize all digital platforms such as social media to gain followers after blogging for more than a decade. Vivy, as the face of the brand, does most of the marketing and PR for their brand. She’s not in the state of paying too much of their budget for advertisement as she knows her brand so well. She finds social media to be extremely powerful, something the older generation might find hard to grasp. Their target audience is mostly women between the ages of 20-40 – right in the cross-section of internet-savvy generations. It again comes back to knowing and having a connection with her customers which gives her an insight on what they want next. This is why people keep following her on Instagram just to know what’s new in the card. Vivy’s Instagram is more like a catalogue and wardrobe for other women. You got to pick what you want by just looking at her. As she knows people get bored easily, Vivy would do anything that will give a different insight on her brand and one of it is by trying new styles of marketing strategy. Vivy also stars in her own reality TV show that follows her daily life called ‘Love, Vivy’ which is already in Season 2. This program helps with their sales as it is a “soft-sell” way of marketing their brand not just in Malaysia but in neighboring countries where it airs as well.
Knowing that she has already gained thousands of followers on social media, Vivy took another step to launch her own label, ‘dUCk’. Inspired by her blog name, ‘Proudduck’, Vivy and her team starts to launch dUCk Shawl as her first dUCk product. The response was massive. People queued just to get her product even when the price tag might make your eyes swirled. Vivy can even sell her shawl with more than thousand ringgit and it still sold out. She definitely brought the price tag of a shawl to another level. Knowing her target market very well, Vivy expand her product to make-up, handbag and many more and everything sold out whenever she did a product launch. She managed to set a benchmark that even a local product can become a premium brand.
Vivy is one of Malaysia’s iron lady, a wife, and a mom of three who shows you that you can become a successful person at a young age. Being nominated in Forbes for 30 under 30, there’s no other thing to prove that she is such an inspirational role model to young generation. She won’t stop as she will always be bringing more to the crowd. She is definitely a “Dreamgirl to Wonderland”.