Indonesia’s Next Top Fashion Entrepreneurs

As fashion and textile designers rethink their approaches to entering the global market, 25 women entrepreneurs from Indonesia presented their globally-friendlier designs at a networking dinner in Bali, organised by Australia Awards in late August. The event - and the newly-adapted designs - followed the two-week course, International Business Readiness – A course for the Fashion and Textile Sector, facilitated by the Queensland University of Technology in May 2016.

In their final presentations, some of the participants put their creative minds together for a new brand collaboration, while others got on board with the growing pop-up shop movement to reduce costs. They also got a chance to visit the workshop of Ali Charisma, national chairman of Indonesia Fashion Chamber (IFC) and sat down for an inspiring afternoon where Ali told of his journey in the fashion world and the lessons he had learned.

“Australia Awards has been a rewarding and inspiring program both for my career and my personal life. I learned new things, networked and collaborated with more people through this program. I really appreciated the mentorship by successful designers in this program,” said participant Novita Yunus, who owns Batik Chic and a premium line. Both brands specialise in weaving silk, songket and batik, keeping alive the heritage of Indonesia. Novita was a banker for 13 years before she launched her label six years ago.

Meanwhile for Gloria Agatha, owner of the brand Jii, the course has given her practical knowledge. “I now have a bigger picture of what the Australian market wants, and how the cycle works,” she said. Jii is a ready-to-wear line that targets young and chic women. In 2013, Jii was nominated in the Cleo Fashion Awards as Most Innovative Local Brand.

The Indonesian designers also had an opportunity to hear about accessing finance in Indonesia as a fashion professional, presented by the Commonwealth Bank. For all the designers – who travelled to Sydney and Brisbane and have now returned home – it was an opportunity to experience Australian fashion and culture.

Queensland University of Technology design lecturers Carla Van Lunn and Kay McMahon spoke glowingly about their time with the Indonesian designers.

“It was a privilege to be there by your side and a real delight to see everything through your eyes. Your colour and happiness were absolutely contagious. I also hope that Kay and I and the other industry mentors gave new ways of thinking about business, new perspectives on fashion and that we’ve given you some tools, connection and confidence to grow your business locally, nationally in Indonesia and also for those who are ready to take the next step to grow your brand in the international marketplace,” Van Lunn told the group.

For profiles of the 25 female fashion entrepreneurs, please visit http://benang.com.au/

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