Long gone are the days when depleted and skinny models caused outrage in fashion circles with their forlorn looks adorning catwalks worldwide. At least since 2014, fitness has become the new fashion and Bali like no other has embraced this movement. More than just a fashion statement, it is a lifestyle which has easily found a home in Bali where mindful souls look inward for beauty. In reality, fashions love affair with fitness is because the fit look is the new beauty ideal. That being said, the fashion world is embracing a positive movement in society and therefore advancing it.
The concept of beauty has evolved, with dieting being replaced with nutrition, skinny with fit physiques and a restrictive lifestyle with a more expansive and holistic approach to the body. It’s no surprise that fitness and fashion worlds are colliding; in recent years, the two industries have become increasingly similar as fitness becomes more about being on top of the latest trend or health craze the same way fashion is about getting your hands on the newest “MUST-have" item of the season. A place so focused on spirituality and nourishing the mind and body yet also home to industry-leading designers and trendsetters, Bali provides the ideal environment for fitness and fashion to live in harmony. As the holy grail of all things health and wellness, where is Bali in this time of influencers who reject outdated thigh gap aspirations and how did various trends in Bali combine to make fitness the new lifestyle fashion choice.
Credits: Kayla Itsines @kayla_itsines
The Trendsetters of Fit Fashion
In recent years, Instagram has been taken over by female powerhouses like Kayla Itsines, an Australian personal trainer and entrepreneur who has fueled a digital community like no other as cofounder of the Bikini Body Guides. This holistic 12-week training program and clean eating plan focuses on inspiring women to become stronger and fitter while nourishing their bodies with proper nutrition. Her holistic guides have helped millions of women understand the importance of fitness and clean eating to make changes. The #BBG community is a revolutionary group of women supporting women on their healthy living journeys in this new era where health is the new fashion accessory and strong is the new sexy.
Likewise, at the intersection of fitness and fashion, Hannah Bronfman is an American DJ, founder of health and beauty website HBFit, and Global Adidas Ambassador. Hannah sets the new standard for wellbeing. We love her daily posts advocating for self love and care, exercise, and colorful meals. That being said, her wardrobe and sense of style make her a fan favorite at Black Book Fashion.
As stylish workout attire has become increasingly in demand and activewear is being worn interchangeably as weekend wear, major brands have begun incorporating sportswear into their collections. In recent years, athleisure has become increasingly more popular and socially acceptable. It couldn’t have been too hard to predict that these well made clothes designed for the utmost comfort would sneak their way into our daily wardrobes.
Credits: Hannah Bronfman @hannahbronfman
Luxury brand Stella McCartney has teamed up with Adidas to create a shoe and training gear collection that provides high-quality, vibrant pieces created sustainably that will have the fiercest yogis and CrossFit babes looking fresher than ever. High fashion is truly intermingling with active wear and athleisure in these bold tights, crop tops, parkas and more. Likewise, sneakers and body con tops that could be taken from a night out to a workout have been finding themselves on runways worldwide.
How Bali Supports the Holistic Lifestyle
It could be because of the chiseled surfers flocking to the coast or the yogis who have come searching for a higher level of spirituality, but for whatever reason the tourism infrastructure in Bali has developed in such a way that it has become the ultimate wellness getaway, for those of us who are lucky enough to live in paradise full-time. We’d dare to say that unlike LA or New York City which are just meeting the demand for this new generation of wellness junkies, Bali has led the way and inspired the wellness revolution. Forget thinspiration; we look to Bali for individuals who advocate for active lifestyles and nutrition, the best in alternative lifestyle eateries, the latest athletic wear styles, and the cutting-edge designers who are incorporating sportswear into their collections.
Bali itself is home to inspiring social media influencers who provide a look into the way a lot of people live there, but also help others find the motivation to start their own fitness journey or practice healthier living on the island.
Adinda Sukardi(@saktidin) is an Indonesian influencer who has amassed thousands of followers by chronicling her life as an athlete and Under Armour global brand ambassador. She initially started her account to hold herself accountable at the start of her own fitness journey. She now posts regular workout routines, healthy eats and meal inspiration, and fun shots of her training and traveling throughout Bali and the world.
Credits: Adinda Sukardi @saktidin
Another Bali-based gem goes by @memoriesliketattoos, Vivian is a Dutch yogi living in Bali and spreading positivity and healthy living motivation with her stunning photos in and out of the studio. Her account showcases the active, balanced lifestyle that lots of people in Bali abide by with an emphasis on spirituality and living a fulfilling life.
These are just two of countless women in Bali who capture and promote the fitness and nutrition focused lifestyles the environment in Bali enables and inspires them to live.
On that note, all the exercise you’ll inevitably be doing to justify the activewear clothing haul you’re obviously planning while reading this is going to make for one hungry traveler. Whether you’re vegan, paleo, plant-based, or just trying to eat clean, Bali has all of the above covered and more with its seemingly endless number of alternative lifestyle eateries. Nourish your body at a mindful cafe; Bali’s health conscious food scene is unparalleled. For vegan fare in Canggu that will be prettier than the outfit you wore to yoga(seems impossible, we know) go to Peloton Supershop. This Plant-Based Cafe doubles as a bike shop and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their insta-worthy smoothie bowls and salads not only look and taste incredible, but provide the fuel any fit girl needs to stay on top of her goals. Be sure to check out their super creative menu. If you’re in the Ubud area, check out Alchemy: the first of what is now many 100% raw vegan cafe and juice bars in Bali. Even if you aren’t vegan, this is worth a stop for any whole food lover. Mix and match smoothie bowl flavors and toppings at their smoothie bar or try one of their tasty guilt-free dessert treats. Smoothie bars, juice bars, vegan restaurants, and whole food only restaurants are now a dime a dozen throughout the entire island. Eating clean has never been so easy for someone on holiday.
Credits: Alchemy @alchemybali
Fit Fashion in Bali
Let’s be real. You’re lying if you say surfers don't look cool. “Surfer style” has become more popular than surfing itself. What started as functional, relaxed clothing to meet the needs of surfers has turned into a billion dollar industry with even non surfers wearing mainstream brands like Billabong and Quicksilver. What we see today from the surfer types in Bali, and there are loads of them, is attire that is both functional and sexy. Colorful, printed board shorts and sleek wetsuits combine style with the latest technology in fabrics. The key to great surfwear is a distraction-free suit. Bali surfers look for pieces that are barely there and won’t budge. Stylish elements can often be found in the details- cross-back straps and zippers.
When it comes to dressing for a workout in the Bali heat, less is definitely more. Tight, form-fitting clothes that wick away moisture are the move. Designing activewear has become an art form and womens' bodies are the new canvas for creatives. Matching spandex bra top and leggings or shorts sets are seen in every color and style. In Ubud, some of the best yoga practitioners and teachers in the world can be found with yoga wear on par with their skills. While shorts are okay for other types of exercise, these yogis tend to stick to cropped or full-length leggings paired with a tight tank for optimal performance. Skin-tight, barely there fabrics, are a must. Comfort is key, especially with yoga wear, but that doesn’t mean these pieces are any less fashion forward than streetwear.
At any of the several CrossFit studios within Bali, you’ll see a mix of the above and more. Everyone has their own personal opinion about what they like to workout in whether it be a printed cross-back sports bra and matching spandex shorts or a looser T-shirt; women wear what they feel confident in and what makes them feel strong and powerful- we can’t think of a better method to go about dressing yourself.
In 2011, Norwegian designer Trudi Christensen brought the latest in fit fabric technology and design to Bali with her new label, Dare2Wear. As a result of the fitness as fashion movement, new brands like this have been popping up in Bali to cater to the need for fashion forward activewear and athleisure where you can find many of the trends described above. Dare2Wear makes high-quality activewear, yoga wear, and athleisure pieces. At their store in Seminyak and online there is no shortage of tops, leggings, shorts, and hoodies that will keep you looking your best and feeling confident both during your workout and afterward on the street.
Another new one on the scene since 2012 is Oy Surf Apparel. The brand creates stunning swimwear, both unique bikinis and one pieces, some with patterns and some with solids, at the forefront of womens surfing fashion and functionality. The brand also makes rashguards and leggings. All products are developed and produced within Bali.
Credits: NunéMoné @nunemone
If you’re looking for something more daring when it comes to yoga wear, the recently launched NunéMoné, brainchild of founder and designer Natasha Matovic, tells a unique story with each handrafted legging or top. Each piece is inspired by a different place or culture and the bright prints are powerfully bold. Likewise, each piece is designed and manufactured in Bali.
We have yet to discover a place that embodies the fashion-meets-fitness movement like Bali does. Being the fashion-forward BBF reader that you are, we’re guessing you’re either already embracing fitness as the new fashion or you’re dying to get started. Either way, a wellness excursion in Bali couldn’t possibly be a bad idea.