ROSMAH MANSOR likes to be introduced as the First Lady of Malaysia, but for Sydney fashion designer Carl Kapp, she is his first lady of shopping.
The wife of the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is known across Malaysia simply as FLOM (First Lady of Malaysia), and is Kapp's biggest customer, having dropped an estimated $100,000 in his boutique ordering garments during a private holiday in Sydney a little more than a fortnight ago.
''She was absolutely gracious and very easy to deal with,'' Kapp told PS this week, agreeing she was nothing like the woman often portrayed in Malaysian media for her allegedly extravagant lifestyle.
In recent months, Mansor, who stayed with her husband in the $20,000-a-night penthouse at The Darling hotel, has been forced to deny reports she had bought a $US24 million diamond and a $US200,000-plus crocodile skin, bejewelled Hermes handbag. Kapp, who has a keen eye for such bags, having worked for Hermes, said he did not see any such handbag when he met her.
What her critics in Malaysia will make of her Sydney shopping spree, first reported on local fashion blog Frockwriter, is yet to be determined.
Kapp, who became suspicious of the identity of his mystery VIP customer when his Oxford Street store received a flurry of calls requesting valet parking for her limo, said he was being flown to Malaysia next month with a collection of ''toiles'' for Mansor to try on before completing her massive order of 61 dresses, pants and tops.
All made from the finest silk and in a variety of exotic colours and prints, Kapp said his new muse had ''a very good eye for colour and she likes a lot of prints''.