Vibrant, visual, functional and funky…bag it at Unusual Things, writes Stephanie Mee.
STEP into Unusual Things on Jalan Pengosekan, and you feel as though you’ve left Ubud and entered a hip boutique in London, Melbourne or even Seminyak. The decor here is a mix of retro and industrial-chic, with black and red leather couches and stools, toned down grey and orange panels on the back wall, an asymmetrical wicker globe chandelier and an old school motorbike parked next to the sales desk. Then there are the handmade recycled wood and brushed metal display stands that serve as fitting props for the one-of-a-kind bags and accessories draped over the shelves.
Unusual Things is the brainchild of Ida Bagus Foriyana, a long-time artist who has taken his passion for painting and sculpture and poured it into Ubud’s newest lifestyle and tech accessories venture. In partnership with his wife, Ida Bagus creates funky, functional and fashionable bags, travel cases, iPhone and iPad cases and portfolio covers in a range of high-quality materials and fabrics. While Ida Bagus designs the sleek and sophisticated Unusual Things line of durable totes, messenger bags and travel cases, his talented wife creates the more colourful and feminine Radha Utami line.
Peruse the raw wood and glass display cases outside the front of the shop or the shelves inside the air-conditioned showroom for stylish duffel travel bags made with durable fabric reminiscent of tweed and strong leather straps, eye-catching handbags with vibrant embroidered batik designs and snakeskin accents or chic iPhone 4 cases with soft fabric on the inside that peeks through a sheath of rich buttery leather on the outside.
Designs and patterns include rectangular messenger bags with muted earth-toned stripes in brown, beige and cream, roomy tote bags with feathery gold chevrons against a rich rust and chocolate-hued background, and rustic looking rucksacks with a sturdy canvas exterior and supple leather clasps. No attention to detail is spared, with strategically placed zippers, secret pockets in the silk linings and even whimsical accents like the silver Buddha mantra hands that adorn the Radha Utami handbags.
All of the materials used in the bags and accessories are sought out and hand-chosen by the couple, and the designs are original and unique. In addition, many of the items are exclusive single editions, meaning you will never come across someone else sporting your exact bag or travel accessory.
Ida Bagus says, “Drawing down, we love creating. We are obsessed with every detail of every single product – each material and shape has been sourced, selected and chosen by us. We all work carefully to make sure your Unusual Things product will accompany you for years to come and we are always working, creating on new designs for you.”
Unusual Things was established in 2012, and the Ubud shop is their flagship store. However, the couple plans to branch out in the future with boutique shops in other areas of Bali so that they have additional space to display their growing collection of original pieces that live up to the moniker of Unusual Things.