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Supporting Indonesian Fashion Labels

  • Allysha Nila

    Contributor

Jakarta | Sat, January 13 2018 | 12:39 am
Supporting Indonesian Fashion Labels Nikicio - Arglye & Oxford x Goods: (Courtesy of The Goods Dept.)" width="780" border="0" height="520">Nikicio - Arglye & Oxford x Goods: (Courtesy of The Goods Dept.)

The presence of various platforms gives Indonesian fashion labels much-needed exposure.

Indonesian fashion labels are gaining exposure thanks to various formal platforms.

Digital Fashion Week, held for the first time in Jakarta recently, shows the increasing impact of online growth and regional interest in the country’s fashion industry.

However, the commitment to supporting local brands is not limited to high-profile events.

Informal has always been the way to go in helping designers see business growth in an increasingly chaotic retail climate.

“Brands have been coming to us since the beginning to sit down over coffee and discuss how to get their product out and quality right. It’s always been informal,” said Chris Kerrigan, co-founder of The Goods Dept and Brightspot Market.

Fellow cofounder Leonard Theosabrata said out of the hundreds, or even thousands, they could only really nurture a handful because of their curation process. “We have to see who has the potential to keep up with our expansion and the growing market,” he says.

Nevertheless, co-founder Cynthia Wirjono revealed the company had thought of formalizing such mentorship, “We’re trying to formulate a channel with our vendors and that takes time to get right.”

Designers like Putri J. Ghariza of fashion label Aesthetic Pleasure still prefer an informal setting.

“I don’t really use the existing formal platforms because they’re rigid,” she admitted. “Its program structures don’t necessarily show how you can grow your brand. I think particularly in Indonesia, a less institutional setting has proven to be more fruitful.”

How local brands fair against international ones is a comparison the fashion industry is tired of having. ”After seven years of challenging this perception, we don’t want the conversation to be about that anymore,” Cynthia said. Leonard said today’s challenge was that people were traveling and seeing more. “When they come back to Indonesia they’re educated and want to see our answer to what they’ve seen abroad,” he said.

Evidently, consumers have shifted their concerns to product quality.

“The image of the brand is more relevant now [than its country origin],” explained by designer Tommy Tedji Ambiyo of Byo, a brand known for its bags. “I cannot change the old perception on local products that still lingers but what we can do as an Indonesian designer is to create the best product we can and the market will follow suit.”

Ultimately, products are still physical, which keeps designers optimistic in the era of digitalization. “People still prefer to touch and analyze what they’re buying first,” Tommy says.

Fashion designer Patrick Owen hinted at the human connection needed. “I love to engage with people who bother to take their precious time to study, touch, feel or experience an actual piece of my creation.”

Shopping time: The Goods Dept and The Goods Cafe’s Pacific Place store remains open while renovations are ongoing. (Allysha Nila)

PREMIUM Nikicio - Arglye & Oxford x Goods: (Courtesy of The Goods Dept.)The presence of various platforms gives Indonesian fashion labels much-needed exposure.Indonesian fashion labels are gaining exposure thanks to various formal platforms.Digital Fashion Week, held for the first time in Jakarta recently, shows the increasing impact of online growth and regional interest in the country’s fashio...

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