Two Malaysian companies, born over a century apart, have found common ground in artisanal creativity and the stories of their respective journeys. Pewter brand Royal Selangor and street-wear label Pestle & Mortar Clothing have joined forces to come up with an unexpected line of limited edition merchandise.

The RSXPMC collection sees Royal Selangor’s archive and rich history translated into a Pestle & Mortar capsule range consisting of four garments, a tote bag and a cap. Each item features an embedded bespoke pewter piece.

“I’ve always known Royal Selangor. It’s a household name,” says Hugh Koh, group CEO and co-founder of Pestle & Mortar Clothing. “The company has been around for 133 years and it has so much legacy behind it. With this collection, I was allowed to go in and look at the archives of Royal Selangor. The designs we came up with are inspired by the things they have created before, but in our language.”

According to Yong Yoon Li, executive director of Royal Selangor International, there are many similarities between the two brands. The visceral connection is that they are both very Malaysian. “The collection represents the growth of our country,” Yong states. “It tells of how Royal Selangor has been a part of that journey, told through the eyes of Pestle & Mortar.”

Royal Selangor

A new friendship formed: Yong Yoon Li (left) and Hugh Koh.

Two Stories, One Collection

Headlining the RSXPMC collection is an all-black worker shirt featuring pewter buttons. It’s accompanied by a jacket carrying the Tiger Pewter touch-mark, plus a pocket T-shirt that’s been given a hammered finished surface.

There’s also a white T-shirt featuring a pestle and mortar, depicted in a style similar to the illustration of a pewter tea set that was featured on Royal Selangor’s plastic bags during the ’60s and ’70s. Rounding off the line is a tote bag featuring Royal Selangor’s first factory in Setapak during the ’70s, and a cap with Pestle & Mortar’s iconic flying mechanic logo.

“When we designed the collection, the idea was to have each piece as something very different in itself. All of them can easily be worn for different occasions,” Koh points out. Yong adds: “It’s fun to bridge the generation gap. The take home message for the collection is about our shared stories and the new friendship that we have come to build.”

Royal Selangor is a brand founded by pewtersmith Yong Koon in 1885, who was determined to succeed in the then burgeoning tin mining town called Kuala Lumpur. Pestle & Mortar Clothing was founded in 2010 by a trio of friends who share a passion for street-wear and a determination to show the world what Malaysia is capable of.

While the establishment of the two brands is more than a century apart, their stories share similar traits of passion, grit and entrepreneurship.