If you google enough and do some homework beforehand, you’ll find information and recommendations on the FOs in Bandung. You will realize as you read that there are only 3 main areas, about 20mins apart, where the FO-seekers can lurk. Opening hours are usually 9.30am to 8.30pm weekdays; 9am to 9pm weekends & public hols. Here they are *drumroll*…
Rumah Mode (41 Jalan Setiabudi)
Fashion World (43 Jalan Setiabudi)
Heritage (63 Jalan Riau)
The Secret (47 Jalan Riau)
Passion (36 Jalan RE Martadinata)
The Uptown (123 Jalan Ir H Djuanda)
If you are only dedicating a day for FOs, my top 3 recommendations in order of merit would be: Rumah Mode, Heritage, Secret. They have the largest selection of brands like zara, hilfiger, banana republic, nike, h&m, a&f, ralph lauren, espirit, dkny, bebe, hermes, superdry, loft, calvin klein, armani exchange, longchamp, and can hold their own against some of the units in the US outlets. But you don’t get blown away. If you are trawling with men in your posse, Rumah Mode is the best option to keep them occupied. And they have a nice range of overcoats too – from trench to leather to here-I-come-Antarctica!
Authenticity of the higher end brands is suspect. Go try everything on before purchasing. sizes printed on the clothes sometimes don’t mean a thing. Cuts may differ for the same item and sometimes pockets appear where they should not – I’d suggest you do not place all your trust in your eyeballs, some sense-making is useful too. Like I said, proceed with moderated expectations.
There are cafes either next to or around the outlets, so you can rest your weary legs and arms after emerging triumphant with your loot. There are also street stalls if you are game for a bellyache or two. I tried their durian ice-cream – you essentially get what looks like durian slushee, with a piece of durian complete with thy large seed, buried inside. Not bad for a hot day. There are a lot of things to see. We tend to scan and lock in on our targets. So if you shop like us, one day is enough, but two days is comfortable.
[First published: 22 Sep 2013]