Batik is ubiquitous and so are the handmade jewellery (think dangling earrings, rings and necklaces) as well as the headscarves for women and children in Bekasi so it’s serendipitous find when you stumble upon a shop that goes against the grain. Wanting to get some fresh air after being cooped up in the office for several hours, I decided to go on a walkabout. First stop was the convenience store for the refreshing Magnum – a stick of vanilla ice cream goodness swathed in creamy Belgian chocolate.

Second stop, which was unexpected, was this newly opened shop to the left of the convenience store. The name definitely piqued my interest – it read Illuminati except the spelling was different, 177uminati. Surely the owners were cognizant of the historical associations of the name. My mind was racing. One question popped into mind – what would be the conspiratorial group allegedly controlling the world affairs be garbed in? 

Pushing the glass doors, I was met by flooring that wasn’t tiled and shelves of “lumber” filled with leather jackets, T-shirts and baby tees and bags and counter on the first floor. They have a captured market – the students from the schools around Bekasi, both high school and college students. Case in point was the students – two brothers – of Global Prestasi School, which was a stone’s throw away from 177uminati, just about to complete their purchase of a leather jacket for the older sibling when I stepped in to browse. The age gap in fashion sense is very evident; I was a fan of printed shirts with the bold drawings ages ago until I espied this red shirt with a grinning green baby dragon sitting on a pile of books. It was the only shirt with that message: Book is better than mall. Let the syntax error slide and the message is apt to parade in front of today’s malling-, texting-, Twittering- generation. The second floor was a cornucopia of wonderful finds – shoes (flats and sandals), blouse-shirts and boxer shorts (excellent for bedtime wear).

The other surprising thing that I discovered was that all of the clothes are not imported from Korea, Japan or Singapore. It’s proudly Indonesian-made from the fashion centre of Bandung. I bought the red shirt and black blouse-shirt all for Rp180, 000; the boxer shorts and strappy sandals are next on my shopping list.

Retail therapy is just around the corner and, besides, Bekasi’s fashion sense is growing on me.


KH Noer Ali No. 35 rt. 10 rw 02

Komplex Lia, Kampung Dua Jakansampurna

Bekasi Berat

Tel: +62 878 88899 177 | 0856 11 444 7


One response to this post.

  1. wow oh wow if only i can dream of how clothes can effect so many aspects! Thank you thanks for writing this! Awesomely interesting post!


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