The man probably needs no introduction. He is Rizalman Ibrahim, after all – well known for having creative vision and good taste when it comes to design, plus a penchant for straight-talking candour.
So it is only fitting that he now stars in his own reality television series. If there is one Malaysian designer bold (or sassy) enough to pull it off, it will definitely be Rizalman.
Spanning eight parts, the original production by television channel Life Inspired aims to give viewers a chance to get up close and personal with him, as well as shine a spotlight on what makes him tick.
Rizalman however says that the series is more than just a reality programme. He also thinks that viewers should not just expect high-blown drama from the footages that made the final cut.
“Drama is very dated. People are smart. They know that some drama is specially created for a show. My series is more angled towards a documentary,” the 46-year-old states.
That doesn’t make it any less interesting though. The first episode itself (which was screened to the media last week) will show the frenetic pace that Rizalman works in, as well as the challenges that his team has to put up with.
While it also shows on camera that Rizalman can be a strict boss, he obviously values the people who work for him. He calls them his “backbone”, attributing his success to their help.
“I just want to show that if you want to be very berjaya, you must create a team that loves and adores you very much. That way they will give you the best results,” he explains.
The series has its funny moments too. There is no one like Rizalman for stating things as it is. He just doesn’t like mincing his words – not for anyone.
“I kind of regretted to agreeing to the whole thing. As you know, I’m a very busy person. But then, for that period of time, I had a team of people following me around for at least 12 hours a day,” he relates in jest.
“If you ask the crew, I really had my tantrums during filming. Because it’s not every day that you are prepared to be filmed. There are also the days where you get bad news, yet the director will be asking you to speak about this and do that.”
As a fashion designer, Rizalman is a favourite among royalty, socialites and A-list celebrities who prefer minimalism with a dose of glamour and an air of plush elegance. His creations range from form-fitting garments to flowy kaftans.
The series will nevertheless, also detail his many other roles in life: from being an interior decorator, fashion guru, wedding planner and entrepreneur to, most importantly, a devoted father of two sons.
“My children – one is 15 year old and the other, five – have always been featured on television and in magazines together with me. So they’re rather comfortable with having the cameras around,” he notes with pride.
Looking good on screen
Rizalman goes on to say that he will think twice before coming up with another reality series. Taking a dig at himself, he explains that he is concerned about his looks.
“You can cheat on Instagram. You can post up pictures in angles that you don’t look fat or old. But on television, you can’t just walk in one position. So people will see all your not-so-nice features.
“If I want to do another reality show, it will take another two to three years to put together the content. I’m now 46, another three years – and I’ll be almost 50. I don’t know whether it’ll lepas with this muka,” he adds, laughing.
Rizalman premieres May 30 at 10pm on LiTV (Astro Channel 728).