Innovating Interiors
at Escalier

Step inside the new and improved Escalier for a closer look at the innovative store design and the story behind it

 

In a space where international trailblazers like Comme des Garçons and Maryam Nassir Zadeh hang side by side with pioneering Indonesian brands like Suku and Domestik, having an interior that reflects this progressive fusion only seems fitting. For this reason, Escalier, our Desa neighbour and Bali’s most revered concept shop, recently relaunched with a brand new store design. Centred around the use of sustainable materials, the modern design is also an homage to the craftsmanship of Indonesia, which perfectly complements the store’s eclectic mix of local and global brands.

 

At the helm of it all are Emmelyn Gunawan and Resida Hari, both fashion design graduates who, instead of creating their own line, decided to conceptualise a unique Bali-based retail destination in 2010. Inspired by their travels and inquisitiveness of what’s happening on the global scene within streetwear, music, arts and fashion, they have continued to let their sartorial curiosity and love of craftsmanship guide their careful selection of brands. We caught up with Emmelyn to learn more about the new design, the Escalier journey and the two founders’ curatorial choices.

Potato Head | Innovating Interiors at Escalier store inside Desa Potato Head, Seminyak, Bali
Potato Head | Innovating Interiors at Escalier store inside Desa Potato Head, Seminyak, Bali
Potato Head | Innovating Interiors at Escalier store inside Desa Potato Head, Seminyak, Bali

How did you come up with the concept for Escalier?

It really reflects our personalities and what we actually love to wear. We didn’t really do any market research, we just bought what we liked and hoped other people would like it too. It’s really an extension of Resida; her style is so unique and she can mix and match all of our brands in one look. I tend to pick and choose and just go with one brand, which I’m then very loyal to, regardless of trends and seasons. That’s why we complement each other so well. Resida will take more risks while I look at the numbers and remind her which ones work and which ones don’t. We both spend a lot of time online to see what’s happening and which brands we think will do well at Escalier.

What do you look for in a brand?

We believe it comes down to both of us and our personalities. We love beautifully made clothing, tailoring and craftsmanship. We appreciate the time and effort designers have taken to create a full collection season after season. We look for brands who appreciate the craftsmanship and who employ an elaborate process to each individual piece while projecting an effortlessly casual look. That can be a challenge to find sometimes.

 

We have brands that are made in Bali but owned and managed by designers from all over the world, such as France, Italy and Australia. They are predominantly jewellery or swimwear brands. We’ve established close relationships over the years, especially with the designers living and producing locally, and they are likely to refer us to industry friends looking to sell products in Bali.

Potato Head | Innovating Interiors at Escalier store inside Desa Potato Head, Seminyak, Bali
Potato Head | Innovating Interiors at Escalier store inside Desa Potato Head, Seminyak, Bali

How does Escalier tie in with the spirit of Potato Head and island life in Bali?

We both love island life: the music culture, sunsets and laidback sense of it all. We do realise that if we want to be a global brand, we have to do our best, season after season, to offer our clients the brands we believe are the most progressive. Not only do they make great clothes but their stories and cultures are unique. The same way that Potato Head is always evolving and growing, we try to move parallel with them.

Escalier was recently re-designed, can you talk a little about the process?

The store is really an elevation of Indonesian craftsmanship combined with sleek and thoughtful design. The floors and walls are made of terrazzo mixed with pink terra cotta rubble from the construction of Desa Potato Head’s new Beach House as a way of recycling what could have become waste. The rattan ceiling was probably the most challenging part of the store as it had to be hand-woven panel by panel with individual frames fitted around them. This was done by an amazing company founded in Indonesia called BYO Living and the result is so rewarding, as it refines the look of the store combined with the banana paper made by Japanese artist Naruse Kiyoshi, who resides in Bali.

Potato Head | Innovating Interiors at Escalier store inside Desa Potato Head, Seminyak, Bali

We were involved in the ongoing discussion and the initial designs of the store, which is a collaboration between Potato Head Studio and ZXC Studio. Together they have designed a modern innovative store design that truly pays homage to the craftsmanship of Indonesia.

Visit Escalier every day from 10am – 10pm, or shop online here.