Kartini was born out of my love for Indonesian textiles and tropical island living.
I am Australian-Indonesian and I grew up in a household full of textiles from around the world, particularly batik & ikat that my Mum collected during her travels to Indonesia. I followed in my Mum's footsteps and began collecting textiles on my travels. I love the detailed intricacy of hand drawn and stamped batik, and the feathery colours and patterns of woven ikat pieces that take weeks to make. I love that each region of Indonesia has its own fabrics that tell a story about the culture.
When I came to Gili Air on holidays for the first time in 1998, I fell in love with the island, the people and the lifestyle. Finally, in 2011, I moved to Gili Air. Life on the island was very simple back then, and there was no where to buy clothes. I began making clothes and swimwear for myself and my friends - that is how KARTINI the label was born.
Kartini is my middle name, given to me by my mother. She chose it because Kartini was a strong and brave Javanese woman, an advocate for girls’ access to education, and for Indonesian women’s rights during the Dutch colonial era. I have always loved the name, and Kartini’s story. I wanted a name that represented female strength, which I believe, embodies the KARTINI label.
Each print & style in our swimwear collection has been personally designed by me, drawing inspiration from my textile collection and my favourite swimwear cuts.
I’d love to hear from you - you can email