HomeIsland InsiderUrban Insider: Putri Soediono

Urban Insider: Putri Soediono


A fascination in the arts has always been a part of Putri Sodieno’s DNA. Infact, when she was younger, she always wanted to be an Opera singer.

It wasn’t until she experienced working at esteemed houses such as Vivienne Westwood and Linda Farrowwhich her curiosity into the global world of fashion transpired.

She graduated with a Degree in Fashion Accessories at London Cordwainer and while studying and experiencing the UK, she felt a deep need to share her own personal story with the world through the lens of fashion. She wanted to start a brand that showed fashion could be anything from batik passed down from her Grandmother to a vintage batik bag, with that in mind she successfully launched Pubumésu in 2011.

The secret to Pubumésu’s success comes mainly through Putri’s eccentric Javanese upbringing, boldly taking influences from her life and conveying them into the brand and her work. She is also equally inspired by cultural history as a whole, as she understands the depth that culture plays on the evolution of trends. As well as embodying all these points into the brand, Putri chooses to collaborate with craftsmen and women adept in a variety of artistic disciplines, in the hopes of sustaining dying trades.

Her unique pieces show stories of Asian folklore, to the smells and and colours of the bustling markets in this corner of the world, all of which are beautifully translated into timeless and eclectic pieces that someone will love forever.

Today Pubumesu retails in Net a Porter, and will soon be available in Browns Fashion and Koibird in London, The Modist in Dubai, Ikram in Chicago, and Canaan and Escalier in Bali

UJ: Urban Journey: Tell us about how you ended up in this profession. Did you always want to work in fashion or be a Designer?

Putri Soediono: No not at all, I wanted to be an opera singer when I was younger. I’ve always had an interest in the arts, and ended up going to Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion for University, and even it was only during my time at Vivienne Westwood and Linda Farrow did I really see a future in Fashion after seeing how the industry worked on a global scale.
UJ: What was the biggest challenge you’ve encountered along the way?
PS: Where do I begin? There hasn’t been just one but I’ll list the top two: learning to trust my own instincts, and having confidence in my own capabilities.
UJ: What has you genuinely inspired or excited these days?
PS: Talking shop or brainstorming with other people from different backgrounds inspire me, fashion is such a subjective thing, so understanding different paradigms help my brain cells tick.
UJ: Where do you go to for inspiration on the daily? Social media? Fabric markets? Seeing what other ppl in your field are doing?
PS: A lot of what inspires me is cultural history, so I watch a lot of documentaries on History; from the War of the Roses to the Ming Dynasty. Essentially fashion is a response to cultural habits and to be able to understand the evolution of trends and how political situations have affected them peaks my interest.
UJ: What is your favourite piece in your current collection?
PS: The Monstera Leaf, it goes with every outfit.
UJ: Where’s your favourite places to shop? Can include online, locally and worldwide.
PS: I love Escalier in Bali, Liberty’s in London, and Tangs in Singapore.
UJ: What is the most pressing issue in fashion these days?
PS: Sustainability. It’s a word being passed around a lot these days, but fast fashion is starting to die out, and consumers are much more intelligent these days. Waste is being considered more, and essentially consumer habits will change and adapt.
UJ: With sustainability at the forefront of a lot of conversations around consumerism how is your brand approaching this topic?
PS: There are so many angles to this word, we’re definitely not a vegan company and we do contribute to the waste made by the cattle industry, but we’re a biproduct of it. We believe in what I refer to as “nose to tail fashion” where every part of the animal is used, so hopefully this helps with limiting environmental waste. Though we do try our hardest to minimise our carbon foot print. Making sure that production and suppliers are within close proximity to one another.
UJ: How do you grow or expand on your skills as a Designer?
PS: Consistently learn a new craft or skill. I plan to start getting into coding at some point so I can make my own website edits.
UJ: How do you engage with your audience, customers?
PS: Instagram.
UJ: What is the ultimate compliment in your opinion? What will make you feel like you’ve “made it”?
PS: Getting a spread on Vogue US or UK.
UJ: Can you name your favourite designer or brand? What makes them stand out to you?
PS: Bimba Y Lola, is one of my favourites. They’re fun, whimsical and practical.
UJ: What designer, brand, or company has changed the industry recently in your opinion? Worldwide and in Singapore or the region.
Mansur Gavriel, they’ve changed the game for niche priced brands. There used to be this weird limbo between mass (fast fashion), and luxury (high end), but with the success of niche brands like Mansur Gavriel, consumer habits are steering more towards practical, and affordable with a touch of whimsical, rather than status purchases and polyester.
UJ: Any next steps in your career, or brand that you can share with us?
PS: A lot, from what’s already been signed off, we’ll be in Browns Fashion and Koibird in London, Manebi in Milan, Ikram in Chicago, One and Only Boutiques in Maldives and the rest of their resorts, and The Modist in Dubai.
UJ: And finally, any advice for our readers in terms of how they should approach personal style or fashion?
PS: Don’t be afraid to look different or weird. I hate when people pass comments on what’s considered “eclectically dresses” individuals. In my opinion, you’ve got to give these people props for having the balls to express themselves on a daily basis.

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