Vera Anggraini, the lady behind the successful brand of Vera Kebaya. She comes from a family who puts education as priority. Her mother was a teacher who have taught students from different parts of Indonesia. She herself once got offered to be a lecturer in the university of where she studied. However, she knew that she was different from her mom. She had no interest in the academic world. She knew what she wanted to do, and that is in the fashion field.
Having said that, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Without realizing it, Vera is a student at heart. After graduation, Vera moved her life to Jakarta. She got her first job as an intern for Nelwan Anwar. She asked to be put in the production team, that is because she wanted to learn how to do everything herself. As a quick learner, she easily got promoted into a permanent position. Working closely with Nelwan Anwar himself, she found herself learning so much about management.
On her second job she was working with Adjie Notonegoro. During this time, she was basically his right hand. She found her love for Kebaya here as she was sketching for him so often. From Adjie, she told me that she learned a lot about marketing.
Her story continues with her third job, and so on. But one thread that I found in her stories, was that she always concluded her story with the lesson that she got from that chapter of her life. She always saw her experience as a learning curve for her bigger journey, and always tried to see in which area she could improve herself. I was really intrigued as I listened to her story. She outlook on her was just so very positive. I remember thinking to myself, “I admire this woman.”
Fast forward to today, Vera is one, if not the most well-known Kebaya designer in Indonesia. However, even today, she continues to enrich herself with more artistic knowledge on a daily basis. She frequently visits the Art Exhibition, watches local and international Performing Arts, purchases international magazines to expand her references, surrounds herself with different genres of music, basically she fills herself with any new knowledge in the artistic world. She does that to consistently advance her knowledge and sharpen her taste and senses.
This habit of her is mostly shaped by her mother and her husband. From when she was young, her mom always gave her a taste of everything good in a small amount. That was to increase her taste and her knowledge of the world. However, if she wanted it more, she had to work hard for it. This teaching shapes Vera into the hard worker with a high standard of taste that she is. At the same time, her husband is her biggest critique. He helps her to never settle. He is the supportive partner who pushes Vera to always give her best.
Vera has a beautiful dream, which is to change public’s perception of Kebaya. Just as we admire the elegance of a Japanese woman in Kimono, or the Indian lady in Sari, her dream is for people to admire the Indonesian woman in Kebaya. When I first saw her Kebaya, I stood in awe. I never knew Kebaya could look so sophisticated and intricate. Many people think that wearing Kebaya is so outdated and old. However, Vera knows for a fact that Kebaya must not have that image. Influenced by the many international artistic flair, Vera always makes sure her Kebaya have this timeless yet modern look. She wants any Indonesian woman to be captivated by its beautiful intricacy, its classic elegance and to feel proud and beautiful whenever she wears her Kebaya. It is no wonder that each and every piece of her Kebaya exudes such elegance and class that excites people’s senses.