Wednesday 19 September 2012

Bonjour Bali: Namu's handbag and clutch heaven

When in Bali, it’s usually the beaches and spas which take priority on most people’s itinerary forcing them to have just enough time to shop for souvenirs to take back home.

But if you’re not a souvenir person, have a great taste and style and only one hour to spend shopping in Bali, then there is only one place you should really be heading to - Namu.

Located in Seminyak, this place is a fashionista’s heaven and it stocks some unusual and unique pieces which you are guaranteed not to find anywhere else on the island.

During my first visit to Bali, I went there twice in two days because I had a dilemma choosing one of their stunning bags which blew me away. I wondered what the secret of their style success was, until I met the owner of the boutique and it all fell into place. 

Wooden clutches by Namu in Bali
Stunning wooden clutches which I've not seen anywhere else.
This is what Namu is all about: unique and chic!

Stingray leather clutches by Namu in Seminyak, Bali
My obsession with Stingray clutches never ends... these are superb
quality and to-die-for! No to mention, gorgeous?
Namu is owned and founded by Paola whose fashion background in Milan and London is quite impressive having worked for top labels like Vivienne Westwood. She continues to act as a consultant for Prada till this day so the pedigree is not in question. 

She designs the store label Namu and also stocks some other interesting (mostly Indonesian) brands which fit within her chic multi-label concept store.

So what to expect here? Nothing short of stunning signature stingray clutches and wallets which are individually dip dyed and have the look and feel of a quality European fashion house. No wonder Paola tells me that these are her favourite items from the shop and she’s very proud of it. Her pride really shows too as these brightly coloured and beautiful accessories (including some excellent men's wallets and iPhone and iPad cases) get top billing on a beautiful round centrepiece that is suspended from the ceiling and draws your eye from outside the store. Marketing 101 for any budding boutique owners right there! 

Namu Boutique in Bali
From the inside and outside, Namu is designed with so much thought
and aesthetics which makes shopping there a real treat!

Namu Boutique in Seminyak, Bali

Namu Boutique in Seminyak, Bali

Stingray leather clutches, wallets and iphone cases at Namu Boutique in Seminyak, Bali

Stingray leather clutches, wallets and iphone cases at Namu Boutique in Seminyak, Bali

Stingray leather iphone cases at Namu

Away from the insanely well-priced Namu branded products (which by the way sell for twice as much in Europe) I also loved the structured wooden clutches (by a French African designer) which are impossibly chic, and wooden rings and bangles. Also housed in the post modern surroundings are armfuls of colourful exotic skin clutches and bags, cool fedora hats, bright silk batik garments from fellow Indonesian label Quarzia and an array of dazzling hand-beaded jewellery.

The list goes on and on and despite the variety of styles and labels in this shop - which is shaped like a traditional Javanese joglo house – one thing remains constant: The elegant vibe of everything on display in this relaxed yet stylish environment.

It's testament to Paola's vision that she has created a rare sanctuary from the sometimes relentless commercialism on the island. I challenge you to walk into that store and leave with your wallet intact, especially when the outrageously charming and helpful staff start to weave their magic. Forget the over-rated KuDeTa (and while we're on the topic, this place is more Potato Head or Rock Bar) Namu is truly one for the to-do list on any Bali trip.

Namu is located on Jl. Petitenget 234X, Petitenget, Bali, Indonesia. Tel. +62 361 279 7524

Namu Boutique on Jalan Petitenget, Balie