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Photos: Putu Sayoga

Fashion bargains await beyond the sea in Bali

Indonesia's most popular holiday island is also a red-hot destination for surf fashion bargains

Asia travel

Sunset beachside cocktails, infinity edge pools and cliff-top villas have their allure, but Bali also excels when it comes to fashion. Whether you're seeking the chilled-out surfer look, a sophisticated dress for restaurant hopping, tropical chic for kids or some hand-crafted local style, the island has you covered.

Shoes, caps, and boards at Drifter in Seminyak (above). Plenty to choose from at the Quiksilver store in Bali (below right).

Bali's fantastic surf is what drew many travellers here in the early days, so it makes sense that surf fashion is huge. You'll find plenty of outlets of all the major international brands — Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Hurley, Billabong and O'Neill — selling bikinis, boardies, rashies, polos, sunglasses, watches, bags and other paraphernalia.
If you're looking for something a bit more soulful, you can't beat Drifter Surf Shop (50 Jalan Oberoi, Seminyak; which celebrates the art of surfing with a great range of retro-cool clothes and surfing gear. Australia's Deus Ex Machina has three Bali outlets celebrating, as they put it, a "culture of creativity" which includes stylish clothes for men. Grab a signature Deus tee, pair with some boardies and you'll look like you've been hitting the waves for years.
Two cool dudes.

Along Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, just before Dewa Ruci when coming from the airport, are a cluster of factory outlets where you can snare some surfer threads for a song. Bali Surf Outlet (BSO) and Surfer's Paradise are among those to look for, while Surfer Girl has an outlet on Jalan Dewi Sri, Kuta.

Or go window shopping while sipping on a Bintang at Single Fin, perched over Bali's Uluwatu surf break. Surfers trudge up and down the steps just outside so you can observe the latest fashion in the water before ducking into their on-site surf shop.

Tops in Seminyak, bags in Kuta.

Bali is well known for its markets, and while the quality won't be as high as in the shops, you can pick up some great selections to go with higher end pieces — no one will ever know you haggled that funky shirt down to a few bucks. Check out the main markets at Kuta, Legian, Seminyak Square and Ubud for dresses, trousers, T-shirts, belts, shoes and jewellery. Unless prices are marked, do bargain, though you're most likely to see a serious price drop if buying several pieces.

Above and below: fashion from Kidsagogo and Coco and Ginger.

Children are spoiled for choice when it comes to fashion in Bali. You can't beat Coco and Ginger (Jalan Petitenget; for its distinctly tropical look; Australian designer Saffron Pugh-Blaby takes inspiration from the colour that infuses everyday Balinese life. Dandelion (Jalan Raya Basangkasa 28, Seminyak; offers clothes for both girls and boys styled in France and produced in Indonesia. Kidsagogo ( has crisply coloured clothes for kids aged up to eight; think blocks of colour with lots of cooling white, geometric batik and bold hand-stitching.

Tap into Indonesian culture by exploring the history of indigenous weaving at Threads of Life (Jalan Kajeng, Ubud; While all kinds of heirloom-quality fabric and baskets are sourced from around the archipelago and makes for great artwork, you can also pick up stunning handcrafted scarves.
Kebaya dresses can be found and made along Jalan Sulawesi.
Uluwatu Handmade Balinese Lace (many locations; takes the tradition of crafting fine Balinese lace and marries it to modern design, resulting in a range of distinct-looking, stylish pieces, mostly in black or white.

If you fall in love with the Balinese kebaya (traditional dress), shop for your own fabric along Jalan Sulawesi in Denpasar, where bolt upon bolt of colourful fabric will inspire. Ask a local for a tailor recommendation and have them whip something up.


For high-end international brands, head to the breeze-cooled mall, Beachwalk off Kuta beach (Jalan Pantai Kuta; Simple Konsep (Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak; is a small shop but worth seeking out for its beautifully curated selection for men and women — think Vivienne Westwood alongside Oishii and Melissa.
But Bali has also lured an array of international designers inspired by the colourful life on the Hindu island. The most successful have several outlets, so whether you're based in Seminyak or Ubud, the two key traveller centres, you'll be able to do all your shopping in one location. For a great general selection, check out Bali Boatshed (Jalan Kayu Aya and Jalan Petitenget; where a whole stack of local clothes and accessory designers can be found, including Ebony Eve and State of Georgia.

Just opened retail space and cafe Souq (Jalan Basangkasa 10, Seminyak; stocks clothing brands Maikhanh, Jaclin Chouchana, Laurence Pasquier and its own brand Mianliao; Maikhanh and Laurence are Bali-based French designers and Jaclin is a former designer for Kenzo, Agnes B and Sonia Rykiel in Paris.

Paul Ropp ( makes vibrant, embroidered statement clothes from handwoven cottons and silks.
For floaty evening wear and glorious shoes and bags, go to French designer Magali Pascal ( Brazilian designer Lulu Yasmine ( has bohemian chic pieces in textural fabrics like organic silk, crepe, chiffon and voile. Look for geometric patterns inspired by Bali's light, printed on cottons and silks at Bare, by Australian designer Sarah Leslie.
70s-inspired Mister Zimmy ( is the result of another Australian designer's work — bold prints on simple shift dresses to wear while nibbling on canapés at the beach. Karma Koma offers elegant monochrome jersey dresses, jumpsuits, skirts and tops (Raya Basangkasa, Seminyak and Monkey Forest Road, Ubud.
For high-end jewellery John Hardy is a trek to find, but the stunning location is well worth the detour. Scandi (locations include Jalan Laksmana) has beautiful clean-lined jewellery, while Sea Gypsy ( has geometric inspired, whimsical pieces for the more adventurous fashionista.



This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: BALI