Olenka: From Bali with LoveFashion
Many people love having a beach getaway; Bali-based Olenka offers lots of cool items, from cute shorts and tops to chic swimwear to spruce up your look when you hit the beach. Even if you are not a beach junkie, Olenka’s ready-to-wear pieces are still worth a look - maxi skirts, pants, dresses and jumpsuits are among the lovely collections to choose from!
Born in Bali in 2011, this brand’s goods are designed and made at its studio in Bali. “Essentially, Bali is Olenka, Olenka is Bali. The idea of “made in Bali with love” is extremely important to our brand,” says Dewi Wangsa, Olenka’s creative director who was born and raised in Bali.
“The inspiration for the brand’s name comes from the main character of Anton Chekhov’s short story, The Darling. The name eloquently sums up the mood and nature of the brand and the kind of woman who wears Olenka – she is anyone who stays true to herself, has a unique style, appreciates quality and individuality,” says Dewi.
Olenka, whose style evokes a sense of playfulness, is the brainchild of Dewi Wangsa, who has a real knack for designing stylish clothing– it does not hurt that her educational background is also directly related with her work. Dewi studied design and textiles at the Whitehouse Institute of Fashion in Sydney; she honed her skills by working at several fashion houses in Australia, namely Lisa Ho, Akira Isogawa, and Camilla & Marc.
The collections, which are designed based on the concept of “simplicity with a twist”, will make you look effortlessly chic; after all, Miroslava Duma, the Russian fashion entrepreneur, who is famous for her effortless chic style, is Dewi’s muse. Moreover, Olenka preserves a feeling of exclusivity, as the prints on its products are designed exclusively by Dewi and her younger sister who happens to be a graphic designer.
While you are in Bali, drop by Olenka’s eponymous boutique where you can find cute mix-and-match separates, from shorts to maxi skirts, as well as dresses and jumpers. Apart from those clothes, Olenka’s beautiful swimwear collection also make its boutique definitely worth a visit, especially for sassy fashionistas who are keen to snap up lovely items before they hit the beach; those cool swimsuits are born out of Dewi’s love for beaches.
As said by Dewi, in the crowded and fiercely competitive local fashion industry, swimwear is Olenka’s key point of difference (despite the fact that Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17,000 Islands, Indonesian fashion labels in general do not consider swimwear market as a highly lucrative one).
In fact, Olenka is one of the first Indonesian fashion houses which design and offer swimsuits as part of its collections (even today, an Indonesian label which regularly presents both ready-to-wear clothes and swimwear is a rarity – most Indonesian designers still focuses on creating non-swimwear pieces).
Designing swimsuits, according to Dewi, is significantly different from designing non-swimwear items; actually, swimsuit is the most challenging or complicated product to make, and working with such a small amount of fabric is the most challenging aspect of swimwear design. “In creating swimsuits, I have very little to work with to get that fit perfected, thus I really have to make those details and touches right,” says Dewi.
Not only in terms of details, Dewi stated that she also focuses on the fabrics and finish of each of her garments; she selects the fabrics carefully. To create her ready-to-wear clothing, instead of using cheap synthetic materials, she uses natural fibres, namely cotton and silk. And for Olenka’s swimwear collection, Dewi offers sun protective swimsuits with 50+ UV protection which is made of Italian-made fabrics; those quick-dry textiles also offer resistance to chlorine and body lotion. Moreover, the elasticity and flexibility of the swimwear materials allow them to mold to the wearer’s body for the perfect fit.
Overall, the mix of swimwear collection is eclectic; classic vintage-inspired high-waisted bottoms are found amid modern, ultra sexy pieces. And among the swimsuits, there are multi-purpose items that you can wear either in the water, or out of the water, such as Kanza one-piece swimwear.
“You can wear Kanza one-piece swimwear as a swimsuit at the beach or pair it with a short or pants for a night out; its fabric sculpts and molds to the body, which will give you a flattering silhouette,” says Dewi.
As Olenka goods are priced between Rp 500,000 and Rp1,500,000 (swimsuits bear price tags from Rp 600,000 to Rp 1,500,000), this brand targets people who are willing to pay more for quality merchandise. Speaking of quality, in Jakarta, Olenka’s products are available at The Goods Dept, which is famous for its curated beautiful, high quality Indonesian-made merchandise.
As for the future, there are exciting plans in the pipeline. “For our next collection’s prints, for the first time ever, we are collaborating with an Indonesian-French visual artist. We draw inspirations from French gardens and art; those prints combined with a beautiful, warm colour palette are the focus of our collection which hopefully will be launched by the end of this year,” says Dewi.
Dewi also plans to expand her business in other countries in the near future. Since most of Olenka’s customers are from Asia and Australia, therefore she is mapping plans to expand her business in countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
Since Olenka’s inception, Dewi has had a mission to establish an Indonesian brand, which would have the potential to compete in domestic as well as international markets, thus she ensures that not only are her goods pleasing to the eye, but they also adhere to high quality standards - Olenka is certainly a brand to watch out for.
Olenka goods are available at:
The Goods Dept:
Pacific Place, Pondok Indah Mall 2, Plaza Indonesia & Lotte Shopping Avenue.
Colony Building, Jl. Kemang Raya # 6.
Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak Bali
T: +62 851 0285 5005
Jl. Petitenget # 15, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara.
The Airport Shop:
Ngurah Rai Domestic Airport.