February 12, 2016


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When Art Is Like An Addictive Drug
Director of Stark Retail Indonesia & Collector, Jakarta

Co-founder and director of Stark Retail Indonesia Yohana Irawan took Asia with a seemingly burning stream of fashion hits under the official distributorship of Braun Buffel over 20 years. Born and lived in the effervescent metropolis Jakarta, the entrepreneur is charismatic, swagger, and tony with a bubbly personality. In 2013, two years after her graduation from the University of Sheffield with dual honours, Yohana launched Stark Retail Indonesia expanding the company’s fashion dominance with a rapidly growing fan base around the world – that’s how women rule fashion!

In this Style Talk, we spoke to the owner to find out the addictive magnetism of art, doing whatever in a comfort zone, and why she finds Indonesian artists talented.

Yohana Irawan

My ideal working outfit looks like…
Elegant yet comfortable. I am not afraid to wear shorts nor sandals to work. It is important to match a working outfit that mirrors your own personality and character.

Heels or flats…? Which brand or style…?
For the weekdays: Heels. I usually wear my own shoe brand Metaphor (IG: @metaphorshoessg) as they are designed and made to be comfortable yet good-looking on the feet and flattering on the legs, with many varieties of colours. For the weekends: Flats. Always healthy to be wearing flats every now and then for the calves. I absolutely adore Giuseppe Zanotti’s designs for flats. I like the edgy styles and their soft leather on the in-soles.

My favourite art-related blog/app is…
TheArtGorgeous of course.  It has fashion, art and women in the know, which makes a very interesting read. A perfect harmony. It is what my life is about!

The last thing I bought and loved was…
An installation by Mujahidin Nurrahman “Chamber of God”. I had to wait for the 3rd upcoming series which will only be ready by mid 2016 and can hardly wait any longer. The installation was created through his fascination and interests on the process and aftermath of the Nazi Germany and the impact it had to lives in Europe. He uses materials used during the war, such as gas masks / civil masks and postcards found in other regions of Western Europe, to create this magnificent piece of art (IG: @mujahidin_nurrahman)

Most ridiculous thing I ever bought…
Nothing I have ever bought is ridiculous. Because to be honest, whatever it is you want to buy, it is more of a will than of a need, which is already ridiculous in the first place.

My necessary extravagance is…
Comfort. Whatever it is you do in life, do it in your comfort zone. This goes as far to standard of living, from daily to holiday retreats. And if that would costs me an arm, as long as I am comfortable, I am sure to be able to make up for it in the near future. As you only live once, live it extravagantly.

Three things/products I always need to have in my purse…
My wallet, my bank token and safety pins (as you never know when you need them).

My ultimate beauty secret after long working hours…
Laughter. Have fun with family and friends to unwind yourself. I always believe that happiness contribute to beauty ore than anything else.

Yohana Irawan

My favourite collision of the art- and fashion world…
I have always adored the artists’ “scarves” edition you find in Louis Vuitton, Hermes and even some Indonesian fashion designers. But my latest favourite was the Damien Hirst x Alexander McQueen iconic skull scarves in celebration of his 10th anniversary skull works. Absolutely beautiful.

Art makes me…
Experience a different realm and awakens a different sense of joy in me that nearly nothing else much does, except for classical music performance (self-performing). It is like a drug, it’s addictive!

My next art trip/travel will be…
Art Basel and Art Central Hong Kong in March!

The most arty city is…
Tokyo.

The perfect artworld gentlemen is…
I really can’t answer this!

Artist(s) we should have on our watchlist is/are…
I find that Indonesian artists are so talented, they are very vocal and yet humorous in their works. Albeit the political, social or environmental issues raised, Indonesian artists always manage to throw in a touch of sarcasm, a touch of humour that lightens up the heavy topics, and make themselves enjoyable, which I think is important. Pardon me to say, but nothing should be taken far too seriously. I very much like artists such as Entang Wiharso, Eko Nugroho, Aditya Novali and of course, Mujahidin Nurrahman.

Instagram: @yosieirawan 

Website: www.starkretail.com

Photos: by Zaky Akbar