BARNES & NOBLE.COM
Kinokuniya - Jakarta
at Tanglin Mall
In successful branding the product and the image become one and the same, as if
the image simply reflects the natural qualities and history of the product.
But in 1989 there was no Balinese identity to Uluwatu – it was an undistinguished
export line with a few dusty shops in Kuta selling overstock and rejects.
I recognized the rapid increase in tourism to Bali and tourists’ interests in Balinese
culture as a retail opportunity. Tourists came to Bali in part for a taste of the
exotic, romantic and sensual Balinese culture … and Uluwatu could give it to them.
In fact there was nothing particularly Balinese about lacework. It was a European
craft recently brought from Java and taken up by dozens of small factories set up
by expatriates in the 1980’s to produce surf wear. Recreating Uluwatu into a brand
new traditional Balinese handicraft would take some work.
I started with the product itself, jettisoning the bright colors in favor of all
white along with some black and natural tones for variety. White is the traditional
European color for lace and would help Westerners perceive Uluwatu as a traditional
Along with the new Balinese motif logo, I designed a new look for the shops. Air-conditioned,
of course – some of the first air-conditioned shops in Bali. And over several years
I put together a palette recalling an imaginary Balinese palace of some undefined
period of the 1920’s. Traditional means “old”, right? Racks and hangers of teak
and polished brass, green and gold colored glass windows, handmade floor tiles,
carved wood display stands, antique-style statues, marble top tables. Every shop
had a lace worker with a foot powered sewing machine demonstrating how the lace
The shop girls were dressed in a version of the traditional kebaya and sarong. And
every shop had a few chairs where husbands and boyfriends could sit and relax under
the fans while the women shopped.