Bali's designer revolution - Tourism Indonesia


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bali's designer revolution

When Sydney designer Kerry Grima first moved to Bali 19 years ago, fashion was defined by the cheap rip-offs, sarongs and Bintang Beer t-shirts favoured by budget travellers who kicked off mass tourism to the Indonesian island.

Today, t-shirts bearing vulgar slogans such as Give Me Head Til I'm Dead still sell for as little as 20,000 rupiah (A$2.40) at Kuta's dusty stalls. But Bali's reinvention as an upmarket destination is giving rise to a new brand of high-street chic.

Just a few kilometres north of Kuta, trendy Seminyak's air-conditioned, fixed-price boutiques act as showrooms for designers like Grima, who take part in international catwalk parades in Hong Kong and London, and export to high-end boutiques in New York, Paris, Sydney and St Tropez.

In the world's top cities, the designers' pieces sell alongside top global labels for thousands of dollars. And now in Bali, prices are reaching new, and previously unthinkable, heights.


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