Uber-hip; boho-chic; uniquely edgy; and ethical ethnic-luxury; Bali may be renowned for its laid-back vibe and beautiful beaches but it is a glamorously exciting hub for fashion too.
Attracting the international jet-set to it gorgeous island-shores, the atmosphere may well be chilled but Bali is a hot destination as a fashion paradise with designers from all over the world making this Indonesian island in the sun their home and seeking inspiration from Bali’s artistic beauty and cultural flair.
Upscale Seminyak, with its upmarket boutiques, is the ultimate retail therapy district for the luxury shopper. Just to be clear, it is not that Bali just has some great shops for an island in Southeast Asia, it is in fact home to some of the best independent designers who run some of the hottest fashion houses and brands in the world. Boutique browsing in Bali is not just about mixing it up away from your infinity pool or the soft sands of another tropical beach. Instead, it is an absolute must-do.
With so many fashion designer shops to choose from, here are just a smattering to fit every occasion that are definitely worth a visit during your stay in Bali.
In the Swim
A designer who has worked with the likes of Victoria Secret is definitely going to understand what styles, cuts and contours are most flattering to a woman’s shape. Whatever figure she has, the swimwear she slinks down the beach to the ocean in or lounges by her villa pool in is not only a fashion statement but has to feel perfect.
Niconico Mare, with seven swimwear shops in Seminyak, is the ultimate Bali swimwear brand from Nico Genze; the man who has really defined designer swimwear in Bali since creating the brand here nearly 15 years ago. With a German background, Nico has lived in Bali most of his life and holds beach club bikini parties where his fabulously iconic designs are undoubtedly showcases; playful designs that that reflect the real beauty of women.
When she wed her husband in the late ‘90s, her bridesmaids were Cindy Crawford, Jasmin Le Bon, and Helena Christensen. Brit-born former supermodel Gail Elliott, lived in New York and Sydney before settling in Bali and brining with her the Little Joe Woman brand around a decade ago.
Her innate sense of style and catwalk heritage has injected some real panache into her island-inspired collections; from beach bags to Panama hats and even lingerie. The brand embraces unfussy luxury with a hint of rock-chic; a grown-up label that still has a sense of adventure.
With six outlets in Bali, BIASA was one of the first boutiques of its kind in Bali, growing from a shop by a rice paddy to becoming an iconic label. Bali-based Italian-born designer Susanna Perini’s collections are renowned for being clothes designed with the tropics in mind. There is a casual yet fine quality to each of her designer pieces and a strong artisanal feel. She uses hand-woven materials, creating clothes that are hand-stitched, adding natural dyes to produce soft, lightweigh,t and cool clothing not just for women but also for men.
Meaning ‘ordinary’ in Balinese, BIASA is anything but and is still innovating more than 20 years after first setting up shop on the island; a boutique must-visit for understated, island-friendly elegance.
Yet another example of European fashion sensibilities brought to fruition in Bali is one of the most renowned labels with four boutiques on the island, MAGALI PASCAL. Vintage lace, luxurious silks, and muted colors create a romantic fashion style that has a touch of the Parisian bourgeois bohemian; embodying the free-spirited effortlessness of the designs with a worldly sense of style.
Parisian designer, Magali Pascal’s collections are renowned in Bali for capturing the essense of femininity and look the part at any glamorous event on the island. The light freshness and glamorously nostalgic aesthetic of the designs work together beautifully to create standout pieces for any island holiday; wonderfully wearable and luxuriously unique.
Hand-made, limited-edition, and multi-culturally inspired, Lulu Yasmine also encapsulates a soft, feminine expression. Think soft silks and linens. The clothes are style-driven and influenced by the rich cultures of India, South America, Africa, and of course, Indonesia.
The Franco-Brazilian designer, Lulu Yasmine has roots in Hong Kong and Portugal and has also lived in Italy and Austria. She is inspired by travel and expressing a sense of effortless elegance in women’s clothing.
A former model who studied theatre costume design, she learnt her trade in Bali working in a French clothing factory, setting up her own brand over a decade ago. It is the attention to detail in the creation of each piece and the organic materials used that create simplistic elegance with an ethnic-bohemian edge; brand collections that are special occasion as much as everyday vacation wear.
The relaxed energy of Bali along with the rich mix of international travelers is the perfect combination to give the island a unique sense of style; a fabulous shopping wonderland for fashion-conscious women from every part of the globe.
Featured image courtesy by Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott.