Behind the Seams: Q & A with Madam Ayu, Taking Pride in Her Country’s Fashion Industry

Fashion Week Online is committed to profiling top industry professionals who are at the top of their game and well-respected in the industry. Today, we’re thrilled to share an exclusive interview with Ayu Heni Rosan, spouse of Indonesian Ambassador to the USA, discussing her influence on the fashion industry and her commitment to helping Indonesian designers reach their full potentially in the global marketplace. Madam Ayu plans to bring Indonesia to a universal platform while encompassing its traditions. She currently is living in the US in hopes of shedding light on more independent designers who can express their culture through garments. Read below to hear Madam Ayu’s take on her initiatives for the future of Indonesian fashion.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with fashion and how you started working with designers?

Promoting Indonesian culture is one of the goals I’d like to achieve whilst living in the US. My interest in fashion goes way back to when I was a kid. Growing up in Bali, Indonesia, I quickly picked up my interests in Indonesian textiles and diversity in clothing through school events such as ‘Seni Bali’, where I would represent my school. As I grew up, I began to understand the delicacy and uniqueness of each textile type. Additionally, I represented Bali by wearing traditional Balinese clothing called ‘Endek’ through a provisional level. Eventually, I entered the ‘Putri Indonesia’ pageant competition to represent Bali in Jakarta in 1992. Through different means, I have worked towards promoting ‘Batik’, ‘Tenun’, ‘Songket’, and many other Indonesian textiles.

As you can see, one of the things I have done to promote these textiles is through fashion. I love seeing Indonesian culture being recognised and thriving globally. The growing importance of diversity and inclusivity has made people aware of various potential materials for fashion – creating opportunities for Indonesian textiles to enter the global fashion industry. Furthermore, I wish to make the Indonesian culture seen through these Indonesian designers’ creativity. My modeling career in the early days made me active in the world of fashion and initiated the beginning of my connection with numerous designers.

Q: What excites you about the future of Indonesian designers on the global stage?

I see much potential for Indonesian textiles in the global fashion industry alongside Indonesian designers, so I’m excited to see the increasingly positive and enthusiastic attitudes towards the Indonesian fashion industry. I want Indonesia to be seen not only as the most beautiful place in the world; but also for the global audience to notice the growing importance of our fashion industry.

Q: As you know, the fashion industry and design talent rely on patrons such as yourself to grow and thrive. Can you tell us what inspires you to work with young design talent?

Indonesian young design talents are the country’s future, and I believe that with their creativity and exposure to new technologies, the potential to promote Indonesian culture is high. Conversely, this does not imply that non-young designers don’t have potential. I believe that no matter the age, we can work together to promote and expand Indonesian culture through diplomacy and fashion. Additionally, blending tradition and knowledge from our elders whilst using the younger generation’s comprehension of the forward-thinking world to our advantage can swiftly boost the Indonesian fashion industry–resulting in global awareness of Indonesian culture.

Q: What sort of initiatives and plans do you have for the future with Indonesian designers?

I hoped Indonesian designers would excel and continue representing and utilizing Indonesian textiles to pursue a common goal – endorsing Indonesian culture and textiles globally. Through collaborations and cooperation, lots can be achieved for the country’s economic, social, and cultural benefit. On a daily basis, I support Indonesian designers by wearing their pieces throughout different engagements. Early this month, we had a diplomatic reception to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day, where we wore one of Indonesia’s traditional clothing, kebaya. For the upcoming months, I am working with other Madam Ambassadors to arrange a fashion show focusing on Fashion in Diplomacy.

Q: What advice do you have for designers looking to grow their presence globally?

I believe each brand has its way of succeeding, and I’m confident that they will go beyond expectations through their energetic and unremitting hard work in representing Indonesia. I wish for them to continue upholding Indonesian culture through fashion by developing innovative methods and revolutionary ideas equal to the target market they want to pursue. This way, they’d be able to blend Indonesian culture with modern style and the current fashion trend using Indonesian textiles.

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With love,

FWO

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