MARKONAH INDONESIA BRINGS JAVANESE CULTURE THROUGH CONTEMPORARY FASHION BRAND
Aqnie Anne, the founder of Markonah Indonesia, aims to create a local fashion brand that modernizes Javanese batik in a contemporary way.
Amid the wide array of local businesses that are increasingly active on social media, the label Markonah Indonesia caught our eyes. With a typical Indonesian name such as Markonah, this brand stands out amid other modern fashion brands that usually prefer western names.
Markonah Indonesia is introducing Indonesian culture to a young audience through fashion representation. We were very excited to talk with Aqnie Anne, the founder of Markonah Indonesia, to get a gist of the interesting story behind the brand.
How do you get the inspirations to create Markonah?
The inspirations come from my love for Indonesia, and I want to preserve Indonesian culture, especially Javanese. I observe young adults nowadays, there are more influences on other country’s cultures. That is why I created Markonah as a symbol of independent, smart, and strong modern Indonesian women.
Could you tell us how your journey started in Markonah?
Before I got the name Markonah, I started thinking about what I can do to introduce Javanese culture in a modern way. I thought about a familiarJavanesee woman name who can represent the culture.
A year ago, I got Markonah by a funny story. I have a niece, her name is Marshanda. Sometimes when I get angry with her because she pretends not to hear when I call her, then I will shout at her by changing her name to Markonah. My friend then said that Markonah will be a good name for a brand. That was my “Aha” moment.
I want a Javanese name that can represent Javanese Culture in modern style. It is also easy to spell and remember.
But then, setting up business is not easy. I started selling clothes with batik and lurik just like the others do. So many people sell fashion with batik and lurik, it is a crowded market to sell and I had bad sales in the first year in 2017. So, I decided to stop sell batik and lurik.
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In 2018, I am interested in fashion design so I decided to join an online fashion design course. At this point, I realized that I love drawing. The next year I took a graphic design course and this is the embryo of Markonah.
In 2019, I succesfully created the logo of Markonah after a long struggle. The new journey is starting with Markonah. I create a bold, brave, and strong design that represents Markonah as a brave modern Javanese woman.
Pandemic is a good starting point for Markonah since I create facemasks with colorful Markonah Icon. That is the time when people started to know Markonah until now. Today Markonah not only produces facemasks but also clothing, bags, accessories. Now I keep on expanding Markonah as a lifestyle brand.
How much potential do you see in order to introduce Indonesian culture through fashion?
In my opinion, introducing Indonesian culture through fashion has a big potential now since the government has many programs to support, especially in the creative economy sector. The point in introducing Indonesian culture is that it should be more creative and modern, so young adults nowadays will be proud when wearing our traditional cloth. In addition, people are now more interested in supporting brands that infuse Indonesian culture into their design.
What is the biggest challenge to promoting Markonah? How is the response from people?
The biggest challenge is to print the graphics into the fabric. This process is costly and that is what makes the product expensive. Sometimes this process fails and we should repeat the process again. The design and choice of fabric affect the product price so much. This process always takes time and more thought.
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So far, our customers like our products as Markonah elevate Indonesian’s culture in a good way.
Who inspires you in the fashion industry? Are there any local fashion designers that you want to collaborate with?
Moschino, Kaws, Walt Disney inspire me the most.
I am not sure about local designers, I only know a few, but if I have the opportunity I would like to collaborate with Uniqlo, H&M, Walt Disney.
How do you see yourself as a fashion designer in the future?
I call myself an artist, a fashion artist who wants to create wonderful art about Indonesian culture in a contemporary style. The company is made up of young adults who work together to create a masterpiece of art, culture, and technology through Markonah. The main requirement to be our team is they need to love Indonesia first and foremost.
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