Many people are not aware that some of the world’s top designer brands are actually owned by Asians and most notably by Malaysians. In fact, some of the brands are franchised and distributed around Asia through Malaysian companies. This is where Club21 plays an integral role in delivering top brands like DKNY and Guess to Malaysian shores and the surrounding regions. The franchise is owned by the Como Group which is controlled by none other than Ong Beng Seng and his wife Christina Ong.
The Como Group holds a 56.98% stake in Club 21 as well as in Como Hotels and Resorts and Como Shambala. Christina Ong is one of the wealthiest women in the world today where she is a very much a known person in the fashion world. Christina, through her husband’s empire has become an icon among the fashion world where she is friends with Donna Karan and despite all that is still a quiet person.
Club 21 is the owner and operator of 33 franchise stores in Singapore where it holds the marketing and distribution rights for the likes of Jil Sander and Issey Miyake while it also have a 5 multi-brand stores in the republic. Apart from that, Club 21 is also the franchise holder and distributor of brands like Guess, Ralph Lauren and Armani in Malaysia. In the United States, Club21 operates the A/X Armani Exchange stores while over in Britain, the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani franchises are run by Club 21.
Ong’s wife is known as the Queen of Bond Street in London and today, it has moved on to luxurious hotels that include The Halkin in London as well as the Metropolitan in Mayfair. Como also ventured into a Balinese spa retreat in Bangkok together with Donna Karan while it also run the Cocoa Island resort in the Maldives.