Leather is the quintessential material to add that edgy rock star vibe to your wardrobe. From staples such as the biker jacket, boots or bags, this versatile material will make you ready to conquer the world with a rock and roll attitude. Bali’s leather scene is another thriving part of the island’s fashion scene with skilled craftsmen manipulating this material into fashion forward pieces that complement your wardrobe.
The challenge with leather is that it takes a true craftsman to shape the material into a piece that is worthy of being called fashion. While there are plenty of places that are accustomed to cutting, shaping and stitching leather into a variety of products such as wallets, bags and jackets, it takes a craftsman’s appreciation of the material to be able to shape it into something that is fashion worthy.
While we have spoken endlessly about the quality of Balinese jewelry and fashion design, leather is an industry in its own right. Again this industry showcases Bali’s incredible diversity when international design talent meets local craftsmen to create pieces that are unique, handmade and exclusive. Here we showcase the best places to shop for leather in Bali. Those craftsmen and designers with the specific leather working skills who know how to create trend-savvy works of fashion art.
The Bali Tailor
The Bali Tailor has set the standard for leather products since setting up shop in Seminyak, with its bright boutique a homage to beautiful leather and the place to shop off the rack as well as for fitting of your own custom-made piece. The Bali Tailor showcases the wonderful synergy between a creative vision on par with any fashion capital, and local artisanal talent who create one of a kind, high-quality pieces by hand. Under the watchful eye of founder Leah Hills, Bali’s Tailor’s collections are made with the highest quality leather and suede from Indonesia. With collections that include leather sandals, boots, bags and a range of accessories, the stand-out piece are her leather jackets. While these can be customized for the wearer ahead of time, the jackets in the shop showcase a classy, yet edgy designs, in a variety of colors that make it easy to combine with any look. While the staple of any leather fashion brand is the classic biker jacket, it takes a deft hand to craft an item that is truly different and stands-out from the crowd. The shapely cuts, broad collars and lapels, and stitched details on the shoulders and wrists help give a chic feminine definition to this edgy fashion icon. Staying true to her principles of avoiding fast-fashion mania is what gives her leather creations the chance to shine. With such easy to wear and fashionable products, leather becomes the statement for any occasion and any time.
Black leather and heels are a fearsome combo that adds a striking element to any woman’s outfit. However, why stick to just heels? This is where Patricia Boss outdoes many other designers by transferring an uncompromising black leather aesthetic to other fashion categories and thereby redefining them in her own image. While some may play it safe by sticking to the traditional categories, Patricia Boss bravely ventures amongst others into bralette, bodysuit and cocktail dress territory. However, her uncompromising dedication to this vision is combined with a deft styling and use of materials to ensure that the pieces are not singular in their construction and overly dark but instead remain feminine, chic and eye-catching. This all results in collections that are truly fun, bold and brave; that provide a new spin on fashion categories and bring out the brooding edgy aspect of leather in a stylish way. Patricia Bos’ Seminyak store is the best place to try out her hand-crafted creations, with limited editions and quality materials that are light on the planet, you can rest assured that each item comes from the designer herself. The beauty of design is its ability to redefine oneself, with materials helping to express one’s empowerment and individuality. This is the brand for the woman that seeks and does not shy away from being different, empowered and unique.
Nafsu is the brainchild of the lovely Victoria Paras, a designer with a talent for creating leather accessory collections that are classic, trendy and fit for everyday wear. We love her gorgeous bags made of quality leather that complement high-end and casual looks and standout pieces such as her striking gold leather jacket and boots with peeky-toes for added fun. Intricate detailing and cuts showcase a refined and understated touch that is classy and timeless. Besides leather items, Nafsu also houses a striking collection of handmade jewelry in previous gold and silver. Nafsu is always well worth a visit, to see the evolution of this longtime designer and the passion she brings to creating one a of a kind fashion pieces.
If design is a destination, then Johnny Ramli represents the journey. This Sumatran born creative mind found his first success creating tarpaulin eco-friendly tote bags, which soon propelled him into being the force behind Worshp13 and a jewelry and accessories brand that is sold in dozens of locations worldwide. His ability to mix leather with other materials such as metals, exotic skins and even plastics allows him to create items that are continually evolving yet hold true to a grungy, rock-chic aesthetic. His collections of bags, satchels, clutches and wallets showcase plenty of small design details, original constructions and material combinations that reflect his spirit of on-going experimentation. This ethos is also apparent in his jewelry design where the mixing of different materials such as gold, silver, bronze or copper are a key feature of his collections. Designing is a deeply personal process where inspiration meets expression and is manifested in beautiful objects that we adore. While some designers embellish their work with complex motifs or designs, Johnny Ramli manipulates his materials in order to express their identity and his creative vision. For this reason, his leather accessories are minimalist in design but are loud in their construction. It is always exciting to see what Johnny comes up with next.
While Bali has its fair share of brands crafting the island bohemian look, Shirley Lane however creates a boho-look in her own image by masterfully using leather in all its glory. Whilst many leather designers exploit its grungy and rock and roll qualities, the construction of Shirley Lanes’ pieces start by using softer colors such as camel, nude and off-whites (and some blacks too!). Then adds delectable design elements such as broad leather straps that tie nonchalantly in loose knots, loosely constructed material that allows leather to fold and undulate casually and intricate pattern detailing. Very soon you have lovely items such as the Evee slouch bag, tassel pouches and moccasins that are easy, comfortable and so gorgeous to wear. There is a natural design trend with Shirley Lane that allows the material to showcase its best properties. With two locations in Bali that house not only leather but also complimentary items in linen and lace as well as a range of sandals that will equip you for your carefree lifestyle on the island of Bali.
The wonderful thing about shopping at Lilla Lane is that it brings you into the world of designer Thora Moss, the unique spirit behind the collections and a never-ending source of creative imagination. The brand focuses on leather bags, shoes and accessories that are remarkably fresh, fun and showcase a never-ending ability to recreate leather into something surprisingly new. Quirky designs such as her pyramid bags are just pure fashion fun whilst leather backpacks keep you seriously on-trend. Not to mention the Lorenzo Bucket Crossbody for fun and functionality. Two collections a year allow Thora to craft collections with a disciplined design direction and construction. Like the Sayang collection which focuses on precise stitched and sewn handiwork that create pieces with intricate detailing. The Santana collection is uses a different leather technique to create a reptile aesthetic, with whip and cross stitching to create a bohemian look. Such diversity is what makes the brand innovative and keeps us coming back for more. The versatility of the design is refreshing as are the construction of its items. With a men’s collection in the pipeline, women’s clothing and a new store opening up in Canggu, this is a brand that is going places.
Le Petit Cartel
Le Petit Cartel can be found in 3 locations in Bali and features classic French inspired design mixed with bohemian flair. All items are limited edition and hand-made, and their items stand out for their deft use of materials such as python, suede and cow bones. Together with their jewelry lines, Le Petit Cartels’ collections look classic and effortless, thereby walking that fine line between style, form and function. Bags, wallets and purses easily complement many looks with shapes that remain simple, that are easy to wear and materials that are selected for their high quality. A feature we love about Le Petit Cartel’s items are its amazing softness that make them such a pleasure to hold and wear. In addition, the range of colors used in the collections are bold, strong and consistent, adding just the right pop of color to any outfit without overpowering your look. The brand’s spacious boutiques are modern, minimalist and perfectly help to let the designs speak for themselves. We look forward to seeing more stylish designs coming out of this young brand, but if the current collections are anything to go by, they have already cornered the market for classic, simple and stylish leather accessories.
Karma Koma is unique as a brand in that designer Laurence Appietto Raffaelli not only creates truly sensual, luxurious and elegant French-Balinese inspired clothes but complements them with equally delectable leather and snake skin accessories. A range of bags, pouches, purses and belts are created in synergy with her outfits, to give her collections a tasteful completeness. It shows that the right belt with the right jumpsuit, purse or over the shoulder bag can provide the right balance, color and texturing in one’s look. All together her collections showcase pieces that feature long-flowy designs, bare backs and low necklines, while the accessories are discrete, detailed and practical. This allows for enough detail and style to be present without being over-embellished or fussy. Simple shapes and basic colors , and designs that are detailed yet refined, showcase the best qualities of French design, with a touch of boho chic that can only come from her time spent in Bali. There is much to love in the world of Karma Koma and her growing international presence is testament to that recognition.