By NOEL FOO
PETALING JAYA: Samsung Malaysia challenged young fashion designers at the Malaysian Young Designer's Competition (MYDC) to also create a decorative casing for its just released and popular Galaxy S III smartphone.
"Mobile devices are more than just functional tools. They are now an essential element in personal style; an extension of one's self," said Vincent Chong, head of the mobile phone division at Samsung Malaysia Electronics Sdn Bhd.
Many designers rose to the challenge, but the creations of three - Eddie Cheow, Frisca Dewi Mulia and Julia Leong - caught the eye of the consumer electronics giant. And now, the designs could be marketed as original S III casings by the South Korean company.
Leong, 22, based her design on a combination of bright, fluorescent orchids, as well as pebble and water motifs. She said it felt surreal that her design could eventually be marketed to the masses.
"I had done some research and found out that Samsung's theme for the Galaxy S III is inspired by nature, so I decided to focus on a design that is light and frosty to exude a feeling of euphoria," she said.
Prior to participating in the MYDC, Leong was involved in a long list of fashion shows and design competitions after completing high school at an international school overseas.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Frisca was pleasantly surprised by her win. "I didn't expect to win, especially since I was up against other more experienced designers," said the youngest MYDC participant.
She drew her inspiration from the blue ocean slug for her avant-garde design. "It's a weird creature but it is unique and it inspired to come up with my sleek design of ocean blue and grey colours," she explained.
Completing the winners circle is Cheow, 25, who said he had to think out of the box for his design. He decided to go with local cultural and tribal motifs for his masterpiece.
"Life is more than just technology. It's also about conserving our culture and heritage, so that's why I decided to fuse these two elements," he said.
All three received RM2,000 each in prize money from Samsung Malaysia.
In the main competition, Rhea Tan and two team mates took first place for their fashion design. Each recevied a Galaxy S III as part of their prize.
The MYDC was organised by the Malaysian Official Designers Association.