Young designers draw up their own plans in Indonesia

May 2008 -

Quietly, the Indonesian baby-boomers (generation '70-'80) have their own way to develop the economy. In 2007 there was amazement in Bandung, as the Kick Festival I (Kreative Independent Clothing Kommunity Festival) generated 4 billion rupiahs (€ 266600,-) three days after it opened. More than 100 distros (distribution outlets) took part in the second Kickfest, April 2008 in Yogyakarta, alongside extreme sports, indie bands and movies, fashion shows, a photo exhibition and a contest for graphic design. Everything was done by and for young people.


"Unemployment increases, but creative industries are a minor priority in Indonesian national policy", says Fiki C. Satari, director of Kick Festival II. "We don't get any credit or facilities. By networking, we produce, market and sell our local products in several big cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya Samarinda and Makassar." In 2008, Kick Festival II will travel to Makassar, Jakarta and Bandung.

In 2002, Peter Krisbianto (26) began his distro in Jakarta with a starting capital of 300,000 rupiahs (€20,50). It's a shop which sells products he made himself, like clothes, bags, stickers and hats. "It was simple, I designed the clothes and gave it to the silk-screening workshop of my friend. The first 36 pieces were sold in a second", he remembers. Since then he has opened a larger distro, together with other graphic designers. Because of good financial management, innovative design and the support of a network, the distro now makes 40 million rupiahs (€ 2666,-) a month. But his parents still say: "Get a real job."

Christ Bangun (28) owner of Popstar Wannabe distro in Yogyakarta says: "The most expensive and exclusive products only cost 300,000 rupiahs (€ 20,50)." Minimalist design is the main key to low pricing. Christ only makes 36 clothes from one design. Based in the local market, Popstar Wannabe attracts fanatic buyers. "Every two weeks we launch a design. It can be clothing, a wallet, hat, bag, mug, etc. We are not in a hurry to launch all of our designs at once. The people would get bored if we did that." Popstar employs 10 people, mostly in the age group 20-28.

Popstar designs and prints its own catalog every month. In order to reach the youth market, the design is alternative, creative and low-price. However, because of limited editions new designs have to be created every week. The colour pink and a somewhat abstract bubble line dominate. "Looks unmarketable, but believe me, young people have ideas of their own", says Christ.