Amy Atmanto, designer “Pandemic! A moment for creativity and innovation”

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Amy Atmanto
Amy Atmanto. Photo: Priv. Doc.

IO – Amy Atmanto, a top-tier Indonesian designer well-known for elegant, charming and classical styles. She is the woman behind the brands that meet the many needs for elegant clothing: Royal Sulam by Amy Atmanto (gowns and kebayas), Royal Kaftan Stylish Moslem Wear (stylish Moslem wear), and Royal Astana Online Store (trendy and comfortable informal housewear), and Royal Garment (formal uniforms). 

With her many businesses in the creative industry, Amy has naturally been affected by the two-year pandemic. However, she has a special way of viewing the situation: “The pandemic is no reason to be unproductive. Why? Because it hits all countries all over the world. Many people have lost their jobs and sacrificed their businesses, and the Indonesian economy was hit hard. However, we can make use of this moment to become more creative and innovative. We can still use technology to sell our goods – anyone can sell anything online as long as they have a smartphone,” she said. 

That afternoon, Independent Observer had the luck of landing an exclusive interview with her. Amy reiterated how everyone is forced to become more creative thanks to the pandemic: “Before it happens, Royal Sulam produced luxury kebayas and gowns for parties. However, the pandemic resulted in events and gatherings being restricted and forces people to carry out most of their duties at home. Therefore, we have updated our products to cover market needs. We launch trendy new hijabs and house wear to fill in this niche,” she said. “We make clothes in a more informal, yet still stylish, fashion. Our new Royal Astana products – jackets, scarves, hijabs – now have simpler designs with more indulgent and comfortable materials.” 

Amy continues to remain positive and productive during the pandemic: “By looking at the positive side of the pandemic, we can see the values that we have,” she said. “As a religious woman, I believe that nothing is a coincidence. I believe that God plans everything, and that there is much good from this situation,” she said. “The pandemic forces us to be productive more slowly and smartly. Furthermore, with more activities having to be performed at home, interactions between parents and children are now much more frequent and intense. Life between family and career is now more balanced.” 

Amy went on to discuss the expanded contribution of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses during the pandemic. “They have become much more competitive, as imports are mostly prohibited, to prevent the spread of the disease. This is a great opportunity for Indonesia’s small and niche businesses,” she said. “These unexpected new opportunities will allow us to generate better products that suit our own domestic market better. With this secure market, all we need to do is to build on our branding. Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she said. “After all, the Government is much more aggressively supporting micro, small, and medium-sized businesses nowadays – they are provided with capital, training, and guidance. The capital that you need most these is alertness. If you are alert, you can see what opportunities exist and what creative innovations you can create to take advantage of them.” 

The three sectors that generate most income in the creative industry are F & B, crafts, and fashion. “However, we need to educate our entrepreneurs to understand this. For example, textile businesses must be able to both create authentic products and maintain production centers, to ensure stable production for these products,” Amy said. “This is why I actively help to construct the creative industry ecosystem during the pandemic. We are providing fashion training for specialized workers, whether they are bead sewers, pattern makers, seamsters or seamstresses. We improve the capacity of our workers to allow them to help us generate highly competitive products.” 

That’s good to hear. What trends can we expect from 2022 fashion then? “Bright colors, like electric green. Fashion style is shifting towards flexibility, playfulness, and lightness. And of course, simple designs are always on trend,” Amy said. (des)