Jakarta. Kami, an up-and-coming modest-wear brand by Afina Candarini, Istafiana Candarini and Nadya Karina, presented its Ramadan and Idul Fitri collections during a trunk show in the grand ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place, on Wednesday (16/05).
"It's our annual show featuring our raya [festive] collections for Ramadan and Idul Fitri," Kami director and co-founder, Istafiana (Irin), said before the start of the show, themed "Kami Eidscapade 2018" featuring three of the brand's collections for this year's festive season.
The first collection is named "Hanagami," which means "paper flowers" in Japanese.
"I was inspired by early springtime in Japan, when it rains a lot and flowers are starting to grow," said Nadya, creative director and co-founder.
Nadya, a visual communication design alumnus of Binus University Jakarta, translated this romantic season into loose tunics, tailored pants and flowy dresses in gentle natural hues.
Rough sketches of origami flowers adorn the collection.
In the second sequence of the show, Kami presented a collection themed "Mara," which means "sea" in Gaelic.
"When designing this collection, I was inspired by the ocean, especially the moment when it kisses the shore," Nadya said.
The colors and patterns of the outfits in this collection are pleasing to the eye.
Bursts of aquamarine, coral pink and moss green generate a lively feel. Some of the outfits are also illustrated with scattered algae, rocks and seashells that seem to be washed ashore.
Kami's outfits are known for their unique patterns, as well as their comfort. Their silhouettes are simple, yet feminine and graceful, while their subtle colors would blend well with many other items in your wardrobe.
Small, endearing details, such as asymmetric hemlines, layered bodices and cute bows on the sides, also give the dresses a romantic edge.
The third collection, which closed the evening's show, is named "Promenade."
The dresses in this collection are more glamorous, each embellished with layers of lace, specially designed by Lace Story, a local lace design studio.
"Lace makes our dresses look more luxurious and special, which is suitable for celebrating special occasions such as Idul Fitri," Nadya said.
The lace on Kami's outfits are adorned with floral, foliage and Japanese-style sashiko embroideries. Some of them are also discreetly adorned with Swarovski crystals and pearls.
Kami's customers gave an enthusiastic round of applause at the end of the show.
"Listening to customers and continuous innovation are necessary to stay ahead in the market," Nadya said.
With continuous innovation, Kami has greatly evolved and expanded its market.
The brand was first conceptualized in early 2009.
"Irin and I were high-school friends," Nadya said. "We hadn't seen each other for such a long time and decided to meet up."
During the meetup, they discovered that they had one thing in common, which was that they both felt stuck at their jobs and wanted to start their own businesses.
Under the brand name Kami Idea, they started making costume jewelry and tie-dye scarves and selling them on Facebook and at community bazaars.
Irin's sister Afina, who was still studying in Malaysia at that time, also chipped in for the initial working capital.
"At that time, most of tie-dye scarves in the market had bold colors," said Nadya, the creative director. "But we made them in cool colors, which we believe are more suitable for Indonesian skin tones."
Soon, their scarves became very popular in the market, especially among hijabis.
"Some of our customers also asked us to start designing Muslim wear and we listened," Nadya said.
The brand's debut Muslim-wear collection, also adorned with tie-dye patterns, quickly took off in the market.
Customers seemed to adore their quiet, elegant designs and tranquil colors.
To cater to the growing demand, the brand set up a webstore in 2012.
Afina, who had just graduated at that time, joined to manage the financial side of the business.
Kami Idea continued to innovate and expand.
During Jakarta Fashion Week 2014, the brand introduced its first print collection, "Troika."
The patterns, which included Persian mosaics and the Hand of Fatima, soon became a favorite in the market.
"Our prints are always exclusive," Nadya said. "We design the patterns ourselves and have them printed with digital printers."
In 2015, they set up their first flagship store in Kemang, South Jakarta.
"It was like a dream come true," Nadya said. "It was an important milestone for all our efforts and hard work."
Today, their collections are available at 18 boutiques and department stores in Indonesia, as well as multi-brand stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
Last year, the label was selected to participate in Indonesia Fashion Forward, an incubation program by Jakarta Fashion Week and the British Council for promising local brands.
It was also when they simplified the brand name to Kami.
Idul Fitri Holiday
Nadya is currently preparing Kami's collection for the upcoming Idul Fitri holiday.
"Our sales usually increase around 80 percent towards the holiday," she said.
As Idul Fitri is never complete without buying new clothes, Nadya also shared some tips on how to make effective new purchases for your wardrobe.
"Choose items made from breathable and wrinkle-free fabrics, so that you would feel comfortable and still look good when you go visiting from one house to another during Idul Fitri," she said.
Outfits with classic designs are more versatile.
"You can easily mix and match them with other items in your wardrobe and wear them to many other occasions," she said.