In this day and age, people are socially conscious when it comes to what their accessories, clothes, and other fashion items are made of. As technology has advanced, alternatives has evolved to suit our functional and aesthetic needs.
With these opportunities in mind, Ilham Pinastiko and Slamet Riyadi, two designers from Indonesia developed a line of fashion and lifestyle products made of wood, called “PALA Nusantara” (Nutmeg of the Archipelago). The brand name is inspired by the popularity of pala (nutmeg), natively grown in Indonesia, which makes the archipelago most wanted by the world. They hope that the glory of nutmeg could be their vision to promote Indonesia’s richness to the world.
They first launched their product with wooden watches. With simple, clean, and understated designs, it highlights the natural movement and grain of the wood and the elegance of leather strap.
Local wood and leather are their prime materials, such as Sonokeling, Ebony, and Albasia, and ox leather from Sunda or Java. They still have to import some parts from other countries, such as watches machine from Miyota Japan and maple wood from the United States. All of their watches are resistant to water splash.
The watches line come with three different colors, red (Merah), blue (Biru), and brown (Cokelat). Each design represents Nusantara’s native tribe craftsmanship with their character and uniqueness. For example, the red watches with red genuine leather, white stiches, dark and light wooden materials is inspired by human blood that is perceived as symbol of life in Torajan Tribe in Indonesia.
Being graduated from Master of Design degree at Bandung Institute of Technology themselves, both designers insist on the rigorous process from research, selection of materials, the sketch to mock up, local craftsmanship, and quality control until it reach the market with high performance and quality. “Our issue is to lift Nusantara culture to the world, so we have to do it flawlessly,” said both founders.
They expand their product line to wooden bowtie. Its creation process relies 100% on high skilled local wood sculptors in Java and selected Indonesian materials. It was described as, “Not just another fashion items, but also a state of art.” The wooden bowtie goes well with formal or casual outfits, adding a modern and artistic fashion statement.
In the future, PALA Nusantara hopes to explore the richness of Indonesia’s culture into more urban lifestyle products. What would you want to see next? Bracelets, shoes, or bags, perhaps?