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What does fashion mean to you?

For me, fashion is identity because it plays a part in every inch of your life. Clothes don’t make a person, but fashion does define your mindset, your life, and the way you behave. For example, my style is genderless and my collections are mostly unisex, such as harem pants, drapped pants, and outerwear that totally liberate us from superficial fashion stigmas.

LULU LUTFI LABIBI is renowned for its unique handwoven lurik tops and dresses. What makes your brand special from other lines?

What makes the brand special is my signature cutting and draping techniques, and the striped lurik pattern. I love descontructive elements following the Japanese wabi sabi philosophy to see the beauty within imperfections, which is why my cuts are unique, aesthetically disarranged, and asymmetrical. Another point is also how I always weave my emotions to bring every fabric to life. Some of the themes I have—Perjalanan, Jantung Hati, Persimpangan, Tepian, and many others—are very much relatable to others’ experiences.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced? How did you overcome them?

Actually, the most challenging was the process of building my brand, LULU LUTFI LABIBI. Even though it was an up-and-down process, I faced it with positivity and put my faith in it. When we do anything with good intention, the goodwill comes back to us. It is a beautiful thing when your career and passion go together, which, in turn, will raise both our standard of living and those around us. By working my fingers to the bone and always going the extra mile, I want to develop my brand together with my team of tailors and weavers across the villages in Klaten in Central Java. We focus on building the brand first before concentrating on quantity, and I hope that I can share my passion with LULU LUTFI LABIBI lovers.

Any exciting plans for your brand in the near future?

Besides our recent participation in Artjog 2019, where we built Warung Murakabi, a combination of a small shop and an art installation, next is a fashion showcase for the spring 2020 collection entitled “Sewindu Bercerita” at the Jogja National Museum in Yogyakarta. In addition, there will be an installation for one week to celebrate the eight years of LULU LUTFI LABIBI’s journey and the stories behind it.