Many Seminyak based designers have told Black Book Fashion they are looking to move to Canggu, so expect big things to happen and some of your favorite brands to set up shop in the area soon. However, Canggu is much more than the next extension to Seminyak’s unstoppable growth. It is home to its own selection of independent brands that have grown out of this edgy surfer enclave. While the pace in Seminyak is more frenetic and the shopping compact with the focus on a few streets such as Jalan Kayu Aya or Petitenget, Canggu’s is a bit more relaxed with the focus mainly on Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong.
With its hip smoothie bars, yoga barns and homeware boutiques dotting its’ undulating landscape, the crowds too, or the distinct lack of them, move to a different beat. Canggu attracts a variety of folk who call it their base- from digital nomads cohabitating in co-working spaces, surfers heading back from the legendary Echo beach and long-term expats who enjoy the quieter pace here with the hustle and bustle of Seminyak only 15 minutes away. All this gives Canggu a different vibe compared to that of Seminyak where weekenders drive its’ energy with every intention of getting the most out of their stays.
Impatient shopaholics may be more tempted by Seminyak, Canggu however is for those who enjoy discovering one of a kind pieces such as handcrafted pieces of jewelry or delicate ceramics, ordering a custom surfboard from one of the area’s numerous board shapers, and shopping for unique homegrown fashion pieces. The fashion scene here is more a surf inspired, easy bohemian look, adding a different twist to Seminyak’s more high-end luxe designer theme. Many boutiques here strike out on their own with every intention of avoiding mass-market tendencies and instead stay true to their own vision. Knowing where to go will help navigate this chilled-out bohemian neighbourhood. So here’s our guide to the top 10 boutiques to visit on on your trip to Canggu.
Our Canggu Top 10.
1) The Offering
We know Bali has its fair number of locally-inspired brands, what better than The Offering to shop a whole range of of them all in one place. This cute multi-brand boutique offers a range of ready to wear, bikinis, jewelry, kids and hip homeware items and is a worth a visit. Over the years Bali has seen significant growth in international designers calling the island their creative home, therefore a multi-brand shop championing home-grown fashions is right up our alley.
Continuing our foray through Canggu, it won’t be long and you will run into BLAK, a refreshing boutique focused squarely on the fashion needs of the most important people of all; kids. This boutique packs a punch with modern and edgy collections ranging from jewelry, bags, clothes and accessories. What we love about BLAK is that they know what kids want and are good at it- not shy about displaying brightly neon colored items, next to polka dotted and patterned tops, brightly colored frilly accessories and multi-colored shoelaces. This is where kids can really be kids, and adults can have a lot of fun mixing and matching items from its quirky collections.
It is refreshing to find a brand that expresses an edgy and urbane streetwear look without being anything like what you would expect from traditional street wear. The construction of its pieces has a strong focus on the look and feel of the fabrics, making it both aesthetically unique and comfortable to wear. Original prints and cuts that give the pieces a unique construction and fit, blow away the notion that streetwear is solely about baggy bottoms, oversized t-shirts and sneakers. Instead Oriki ventures bravely onto sleeveless tops, metallic and brass accessories, shoes with prints, japa pants and haori jackets; applying an edgy look and finish to non-traditional streetwear pieces. Oriki’s interpretation of streetwear is both brave and non-conformist stylistically, making this boutique well worth a visit.
Some brands stand for more than just creating fashion for fashion’s sake. Instead they represent a movement and attempt to carve out an alternative creative, ethical and environmental vision. FLKLR Surf is one such place- a surf shop at heart housing an extensive collection of surf wear, gear and accessories with a clear stated intention to transcend mass-commercial approaches and instead produce quality goods in-tune with the environment. By using alternative materials such as pineapple leather and plantains while giving back to the community ensures that the brand stays grounded. Importantly it keeps their focus squarely on the needs of serving the surfer community and protecting what it stands for.
5) Deus Ex Machina
As you continue walking down you will hit a fork in the road, at which turn right into Jalan Batu Mejan to come face to face with the mothership of Canggu lifestyle brands- Deus Ex Machina. Quite possibly the force that put the Canggu surf enclave on the map. This is the brainchild of Dare Jennings, of Mambo fame. At heart a custom vintage motorcycle builder that has become a lifestyle brand spawning a fashion, surfboard and chill-out cafe franchise from Byron bay, to Harajuku, Milan and Los Angeles. With opening hours stretching from 7am in the morning to midnight, it attracts a lively crowd of surfers retreating for the day from Echo’s amazing swells, to the local expat community and your everyday explorers looking for chill-out beers, hand-made cocktails and honest homey food without any pretensions.
6) Haze and Glory
The brainchild of a trio of German designers, Andre, Rik and Kim; Haze and Glory is the rebel child of Canggu’s independent fashion scene. Designing vintage inspired, deconstructed items and edgy hand crafted jewelry, this brand delivers a broad range of mens, women and accessory items. Their creative vision rests on deconstructing fabrics and rebuilding them into artisanal pieces. Handmade in Bali, the shop is well worth a visit to sample something quite different and unconventional.
7) Wanderlust Bikini
Heading back to Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong you will find Wanderlust Bikini. A great place to stock up on some sexy swimwear as you make your way closer to the beach at Batu Bolong. The design of the pieces at Wanderlust come in strong primary colors and with a flattering construction to the female silhouette. The cut of their pieces bring a bit of audacity but give the pieces edge and will flatter almost any body type. On top of this, the comfort and quality of their pieces make this a must visit store in Canggu.
8) Mila The Label
Camila Pires, the jet-setting designer behind Mila the Label continues to surprise shoppers in Canggu with her Bali-ready designs. Her tastefully designed crochet tops and bottoms, flowing maxi dresses, jumpers and skirts, and tasteful accessories, combine to create a look that is bohemian, chic, classy and easy to wear. Slipping on her clothes will make you feel you are on holiday, in Bali or some other jet-set vacation paradise. She has the canny ability to combine bold prints, with loose fitting dresses that are comfortable to wear yet leaving enough to the imagination; a nice combination that makes her store worthy of a visit.
9) Magali Pascal
Magali Pascal is one of Bali’s homegrown success stories that has grown to 4 flagship stores, including one in Canggu on Jalan Batu Bolong and another in Sydney. This Bali staple fuses french style and elegance with flowing silhouettes and an imaginative use of lace and silks. What we like about it is that the perspective of the designer is uncluttered, classy and chic with a clear vision of the woman she is designing for. The brand continues to launch collection after collection staying true to its principles, while building a loyal following. While the stores in Seminyak can be busy at times, here in Canggu you can spend some more time trying her many dresses till you find the right one.
10) Erika Peña
Leaving behind Batu Bolong and heading further south to Jalan Pantai Berawa is Erika Peña. What we love about Erika Peña’s designs are that they are instantly recognizable. On a tropical island like Bali with its beachy bohemian vibe, Erika has stuck to her Puerto Rican roots, to create collections that bring a latin edge to traditional resort wear. Leather sandals, long and short dresses that are tied at the waist with leather corset or cloth belts and home-made jewelry are the staple items of her look. Her earrings, bracelets and necklaces use a variety of materials such as stone, wood, bone and glass. Bold materials for a bold look. Her dresses do not shy away from vivid ruffles and high leg cuts, catering to her Latin fashion followers worldwide. Based in Bali, it’s a refreshing addition to the Canggu scene.
For those who think that Canggu is just an enclave for surf brands gloss over the fact that it is home to a collection of designers who are unafraid to tread an undiscovered path. It houses a bold set of designers challenging streetwear, surf, kids wear and jewelry conventions. While change is coming as more brands move to the area and bring a different edge to the neighbourhood, it is worth discovering Canggu on your next visit to Canggu. Sample unique items, handmade fashions and original brands and designers that you won’t find elsewhere in Bali. But what do we know? Book your trip, head down on your motorbike and go and see it for yourself and let us know what you think!