Sheng Tai International revolutionises Melaka’s landscape in 
groundbreaking partnership with KARL LAGERFELD

Visionary developer Sheng Tai International Sdn Bhd welcomed the entry of KARL LAGERFELD to The Sail Melaka on Monday, marking a pivotal milestone for the heritage city as well as the country’s fashion and hospitality industries.

The introduction of the KARL LAGERFELD Tower, to comprise a hotel and branded residences, sets an unprecedented standard as the first KARL LAGERFELD Hotel in South East Asia. The iconic fashion house’s developments will be situated within The Sail Melaka’s prestigious Fashion Tower, which will be the first of its kind in Malaysia. The endeavour is part of a series of transformative initiatives led by Dato’ Leong Sir Ley, Chairman and President of Sheng Tai International. It is also set to establish Melaka’s position as a vibrant and thriving Fashion City in the region.

“Making Melaka a centre for fashion, while leveraging the city’s uniquely rich heritage and culture, is our vision. Our long-term goal is to not only nurture local talent, but also welcome global investments, creating a wave of opportunity and prosperity in the country. We’re delighted to have KARL LAGERFELD and their forward-looking ethos on board with our plans for the future,” said Dato’ Leong.

The groundbreaking announcement was unveiled during an exclusive event, attended by esteemed dignitaries, industry leaders, and regional investors. The event which took place in the spectacular Encore theatre in Melaka was graced by the presence of the Chief Minister of Melaka, YAB Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh, and Pier Paolo Righi, the Chief Executive Officer of KARL LAGERFELD who flew in for the event.

Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh said the state government remains steadfast in its commitment to transform the state into a premier destination for travelers, while simultaneously establishing it as a prime investment hub. He noted, “I am pleased to hear that Sheng Tai International is actively enhancing the state’s profile as a travel and investment destination. This project is important not only for Sheng Tai, Yong Tai Berhad or KARL LAGERFELD, but also for this historical state, its property and tourism industries and the community at large. I believe this ingenious idea will not only boost the city’s tourism industry but also bolster sales. I’m excited and looking forward to the impending success of this project for its benefit to our beloved state and its people.”

The Chief Minister was clear that private entities were an important part of his plan to attract investment into the state. He also gave reassurance that he would firmly support the project in the interest of developing Melaka and putting it on the global map.

The evening was a spectacle of artistry and entertainment. It showcased a cultural fashion show featuring emerging talents who were recently discovered through a model search organised by the Sheng Tai F Academy, which provides a platform at Encore theatre for these talented individuals in art and culture to pursue their dreams. There was also traditional Gamelan and musical performances by Noryn Aziz and Dennis Lau, alongside a mesmerising hologram and drone show, resounding drums, spectacular artistry with water, all of which culminated in a grand display of fireworks that lit up the city skyline. The spotlight of the night was Dato’ Leong’s piano performance, which added a touch of musical brilliance to the event.

Pier Paolo Righi, the Chief Executive Officer of KARL LAGERFELD, expressed his excitement for the partnership, highlighting their involvement in the realization of a profound dream and an expansive vision. Righi noted that when Dato’ Leong shared her aspirations, he felt Karl Lagerfeld’s palpable presence in the room, as both Karl and their esteemed house have always been driven by the belief of embracing the present and inventing the future. Righi emphasized that his conversations with Dato’ Leong affirmed their shared commitment to collectively create something extraordinary—a testament to their joint contribution and dedicated efforts.

The Sail Melaka is part of Dato’ Leong revolutionary ambitions for the state’s future as an international hub for fashion, wellness, AI, art and culture. Her leadership has positioned her as the single largest shareholder of the publicly listed Yong Tai Berhad, giving her the role of Managing Director and CEO, and reflecting her deep commitment to the city’s transformation.

With an impressive property portfolio spanning 165.5 acres of prime real estate in Melaka (from the combined developments of The Sail  at 27.5 acres and the 138 acres of land where the Encore theatre sits) this area will form  the amazing City of Hope.

At the core of Dato’ Leong’s blueprint for the City of Hope lies the magnificent Encore Theatre. She promised that her ground breaking vision of the four initiatives from The Sail – wellness, fashion, AI and art and culture, will also spill over and infuse the space where the Encore sits.   

“I am honoured to present the vision behind the City of Hope; a place where dreams have the potential to transform into reality. We call it the City of Hope because within its embrace, the power of hope is amplified. The City brings hope for youth, health, happiness, and most importantly, it enables every individual to aspire to a life of luxury, comfort, and fulfilment,” said Dato’ Leong.

According to Dato’ Leong the hotels and Experiential Centre will be located at The Sail, while the lifestyle entertainment will take place in the site which the Encore occupies.

This extraordinary endeavour sets the tone for Melaka’s future, where creativity and luxury converge in a dynamic and inspiring environment. It also serves as a testament to the city’s vision and its emergence as a true Fashion City in Southeast Asia.

“Many people have dreams, but these sometimes come to nothing. That is why we are different. At Sheng Tai International you have my commitment that we will take our dreams and we will make it happen!” promises Dato’ Leong.

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