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THE EDGE POST

How Bonia Started?


Bonia is an international luxury fashion retailer and leather expert based in Malaysia. This company has more than 700 sales outlets across Asia.


Bonia has created a trademark legend in the fashion industry. It has achieved numerous milestones among the many awards it has received.

The Founder.

Chiang Sang Sem, the founder of Bonia, grew up in Malacca. He quit his studies as he could not afford it. He worked at a handbag factory at the age of 15


He worked in Penang, the factory that employed about 10 people and paid RM15 a month. He easily took up designing and sewing skills during his two years there.


After that, Chiang moved from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, and later to Singapore in 1971. He started work in another bag factory and was earning SGD 60 a month.


He moved again and worked his way up to a design supervisor. He borrowed SGD 3,800 from relatives to start his own factory with seven workers, three of whom were his younger brothers.


They produced bags for other companies whenever orders were placed, making 50 to 60 bags a day. Chiang personally delivered the goods.


The Start Of Bonia.

The brand’s first factory was located in Geylang, Singapore. In 1978, Chiang moved Bonia’s headquarters from Singapore to Malaysia.


He hired 70 to 80 workers in Singapore and had set up a factory in Johor Bahru. In 1981, Bonia’s first boutique was at City Plaza, Geylang.


After that, Chiang moved the Johor factory to Kuala Lumpur. In 1990, he opened another factory in his hometown of Malacca.


In the same year, the progress of the markets in Malaysia and Singapore expanded to Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brunei, and Taiwan.

The Name Bonia.

The name Bonia was a tribute to an art piece. In 1977, Chiang visited the Leather Trade Fair in Bologna, Italy, where he was inspired by a sculptor made in the 16th century called Giambologna.


After that, he decided to register Bonia as a brand name and launched products under the brand in the Malaysian market in 1978.


The brand has built its identity around three main principles: modern, elegant, and contemporary.


First Products.

In the early days of Bonia, the company only produced high-quality handbags and luggage. But in 1992, Chiang thought of a strategic plan and produced a variety of products which include menswear, timepieces, and eyewear.


Now, Bonia produces perfumes such as Bonia eau de toilette Pour Homme and Bonia eau de parfum Pour Femme. It launched in 2010.


The Success Of Bonia.

Bonia became greatly successful throughout the years since the launch. The reason why is because of their unique, creative, and long-lasting products.


Bonia has been known for its quality. This company has stuck to the image they built since they established which is modern, elegant, and contemporary.


Their products are targeted at the affordable luxury segment and they offer privilege membership cards. This gives consumers discounts or free products to ensure that they will continue to do business and to build a connection between the merchant and its consumers.


Recently, the label relaunched a collection that used calf leather from Italy that was colored using the more eco-friendly vegetable dyes.


Chiang Sang Sem made his business from a wholesaler to a well-known fashion house where it is known for quality leather handbags, shoes, menswear, and perfumes.






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